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2012 National Book Festival - Sunday Education. (2012) Sunday at the 2012 National Book Festival. New. (CC)

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America 45, Us 38, Washington 38, Chicago 27, United States 25, Elizabeth 17, Obama 16, Barack Obama 16, Sally Bedell Smith 16, New York 16, Darrow 14, London 13, Indonesia 13, U.s. 12, Philip 12, Bob Woodward 12, Thompson 11, Kenya 10, Clarence Darrow 10, Britain 10,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    2012 National Book Festival - Sunday  Education.   
   (2012) Sunday at the 2012 National Book Festival. New. (CC)  

    September 23, 2012
    12:00 - 6:29pm EDT  

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booktv.org. here is the lineup. ..
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>> you have two options. turn your tv. turn on your computer. you can watch them both. if you happen to be in the area, a beautiful day in washington. about 70 degrees, low humidity. come on down and say hi. the c-span bus is here. you can pick up your booktv bookbag and say hi. we would love to see you. that's our lineup for today. all day long live coverage from the national book festival. in just a minute susan hertog will be starting in history and biography tent. she'll be introduced by the librarian of congress, who is doing a bit of an award right now. when she joined in progress. they are honoring the park service for all the work to help put this festival together. we will join that in progress and then susan hertog talking about "dangerous ambition." this is live coverage from the national book festival.
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>> it's strengthened in the merger with wachovia made even stronger. it's part of something we live by everyday called our vision and values and it's how we do business every day as well. this marks wells fargo second era participating in the national book festival as a charter sponsor. but even before this, it has been a hallmark of wells fargo and it's something we remain very, very committed to. i think, i hope you would agree, education creates strong talented workforces. it's really where innovation comes from. it's how we build people neighborhoods and families and make vibrant sustainable communities. and at a time sadly enough wing employment opportunities, safe and affordable housing, good schools, support for small businesses and health care and other public service have been
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left untenable for many, our focus on is what we think has never been more critical. we understand americans are demanding more from the financial institutions, and you should. but what we're trying to do is trying to demonstrate our commitment of being part of the nation's economic recovery is important and continue to be part of that recovery. as one of the nation's and affect the world's largest financial institutions, we know that the decisions we make have a significant impact on people's lives, our communities and our planet. and we think about the outcome of those decisions before we make them final. we are proud to support organizations working to strengthen our communities. through the efforts of our enthusiastic team member volunteers, and our contributions, we share our success within our communities like getting back to nonprofits and educational institutions that address vital community
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needs and issues. in 2011, wells fargo invested more than $213 million in 19,000 nonprofits nationwide. we surpassed 200 million for the fourth year interval. for the third year in a row, united way worldwide has named wells fargo annual community support and united way campaign the number one giving campaign. we are very proud of that. our success really comes from a time-tested formula. local people making local decisions because they know what their communities need. when henry wells and william g. fargo founded wells fargo and company in new york in march 1852, they really could not have imagined that they were creating a business enterprise that would become one of america's best known brands. i'm really proud to represent wells fargo brand, and
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everything we stand for. moving our customers and communities forward towards financial success. i'd like to personally thank those of you who are already trust wells fargo with your business. i'd also like to invite those of you who don't know us to take time to meet some of our team members. i think you would enjoy that discussion. thank you again for a long wells fargo to be part of this wonderful event. together we really can go far. thank you so much. [applause] >> thank you, mr. jones. and our thanks to wells fargo for supporting the national book festival. i've heard very popular to split also for kids, which if you have kids with you who want to see before you leave. now is my pleasure to introduce some extraordinary biography of
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some extraordinary people. and biographer, the author, susan hertog. she is the author of the critically acclaimed book, anne morrow lindbergh, her life. her latest book is entitled dangerous ambition, rebecca ward and dorothy thompson, two women in search of love and power. that sounds pretty good as a theme for women in our lives and in our modern history. this is a very outstanding book. she scores the lives of two early people in the feminist array, but very unusual and interesting ones. their early lives to work in journalism, susan hertog not only writes remarkable works of nonfiction, but she and her
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husband support programs that improve the expertise of other such writers. and i have to express a principled interest in this, because my discovery of rebecca -- rebecca west magical book was called black lamb and grey falcon. is one of the inspirations for how to write about foreign countries, foreign regions with a flashback of history and a great deal of total sensitivity. that we try to capture not in our world at the library of congress. so that's at the beginning of, at least for me, a chain of ways of discovering the richness of foreign culture. and she was a rare woman and still a dominant man's world of high intellectual power and journalistic brilliance in britain at that time.
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and dorothy thompson, i know my parents often spoke of her. she was kind of a person special interests and everything. e wrote in the. so these are two women that were early in the game and very good to remember now, once again. so these are a remarkable women and ladies and gentlemen, a remarkable woman in her own right, susan hertog. [applause] >> i'm certainly honored to be here at the library of congress book festival, but perhaps i'm even more honored to having been introduced by the extraordinary
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man, dr. james billington him a great man and a great librarian of congress. [applause] thank you. i will start at the beginning. as a child i loved to read. in the mid '50s, live in the outer boroughs of new york city, in my case the bronx, was comfortable but provincial. and my curiosity extended far beyond the bounds of my home and school. i wanted to know more about people in other places. what was happening in the world now, what had happened in the past, and quite simply how i came to be.
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books were my passports, and i consumed them voraciously. but i came to writing later than most. in my late '30s after having raised my three children. my generation, those of us born during and after world war ii, numbered in the millions. and we were asking questions that demanded to be answered. we had come of age in the heat of the escalating war in vietnam. and we didn't know why our brothers were fighting so far away for a cause that was so difficult to understand. and the role of women in society
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was changing rapidly. my friends, educator with traditional values but a deep sense of personal ambition, wanted to know how to be true to ourselves, yet remain committed to our husbands and our children. as a young mother i had stumbled into a bookstore and told gift from the sea off of the bargain shelf. it's author was struggling with the very same questions that we were asking ourselves. her answers were deceptively simple, and yet they ring true. and i wanted to know how this woman got so smart. and so, rising before dawn, i
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climbed the stairs to my third floor room. yes, dear virginia, a room of my own, to read lindbergh's work, to study its historical framework, and to jot down my thoughts before sending my children off to school. my biography of and lindbergh would take more than 10 years to complete. during which i had the rare privilege of meeting her. 10 times. but the book was more than a biography. it was a journey towards self-knowledge, during which i developed a consuming interest in understanding the lives of women. not only women thinkers, but
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doers. women who were willing to enter the public fray and change the discourse. what were the qualities of person and mind, the value and loyalties of those women who succeeded, and what did they have to sacrifice to bring their goals to fruition? while researching the lindbergh book, two names kept cropping up. dorothy thompson, an american journalist, and her friend of 40 years, rebecca west, journalist, novelist, literary critic and historian. they eat atomized the kind of woman i was searching for. they play for high-stakes,
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whisking personal pain for public voice and influence. think of it. two generations before the baby boomers were born, these women had the courage to throw off convention, defy social expectation and catapult themselves into the public arena at a time of roiling political and social upheaval. and against the headwind of their contemporaries, i mean, they were ridiculed. and with none of the safety nets we take for granted today. and to compound their struggle, they had no family connection,
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no money, and had fractured childhoods. let me begin with dorothy thompson. born in 1893, the english irish parents in a small town in northern new york state, she was the eldest of three children whose preacher father taught them first to love jesus. second, do all day the christian epic. and third, to embrace the written and spoken word, in that order. but after the death of her mother when she was only eight years old, everything changed.
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for two years she helped take care of her younger brother and sister, and to cater to the needs of her brokenhearted father. but when her father remarried, his rebellious and precocious teenager was cast out on her own. after graduating from college, she cut her teeth as a spokesperson for the women's suffrage movement. and then doing a short stint as a kennedy organizer, -- community organizer, she realized that she was slated for a life beyond the bounds of cleveland, and even new york. so in 1921, with $150 in her
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pockets, determined to become a foreign correspondent, she went to england with the desire to make her way through the wilds of fleet street. but what's remarkable is that within five years she became the first woman to head a news bureau in europe. station in berlin, she saw a world in chaos, and she hunkered to understand that madness that seemed to be sweeping europe. the public and local upheaval after the great war, and the political landscape that was giving rise to ruthless
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dictators. she wanted to be a player, and she knew that as a woman she would have to fight harder, faster, and longer than her male colleagues. she would have government officials, prime ministers, presidents, and earned a reputation as a reporter willing to do anything, and go anywhere, for the sake of a story. thompson had the guts to ask the american public the questions they did not want to think about. mired in the delusion that they were protected from asian and european to mold by tuitions, americans preferred the roar and affluence of the 1920s,
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dancing and drinking themselves into oblivion. in 1933, after knocking at his door for seven years, thompson would become the first foreign correspondent, male or female, to interview hitler as he was gaining dominance in the reichstag, and ruthlessly cutting his way to public, to government control. her book, "i saw hitler," catapult her on the national stage and earned her the distinction of being thrown out of a nazi right. along with national celebrity
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and the total generation of her peers. but as thompson's influence grew, her voice echoed across america and europe. just listen to this. in 1936, she was writing a thrice weekly column in "the new york herald tribune" that reached eight to 10 million readers a day. and by 1937, she had received six honorary degrees from major colleges and universities. and a public radio broadcast on nbc that reached 5 million readers, listeners, and she was rumored to be running for the u.s. senate.
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that was true, but she was also thinking of running for president. in 1942, through shortwave radio broadcast, she would reach millions of ordinary citizens in germany, hoping to bring hitler down by convincing them that he would enslave them and free, free people around the world. within a span of 20 years, she had gone from being a nobody, a community organizer in cleveland, to a powerful international figure. but her personal life was in shambles.
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while she had been working in berlin in the early and mid 1920s, she had been swept off her feet by harry sinclair lewis, whom you know as perhaps one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, and was soon to become the first american to be awarded the nobel prize for literature. he had already written mainstream, babbitt, and aerosmith. and was about to publish elma gantry. she was drawn to him, not only because of his litter or brilliance, but because he was the saddest man she had ever met. and dorothy thompson, the preacher's daughter, like
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nothing better than to save someone's soul. he in turn was drawn to her strength, her morals, her driving energy and her unwavering ambition, and her indomitable drive. but within a short time she realized he was and in court jubal drunk. -- in court jubal drunk. and despite his own international celebrity, he could not spare her rising thing. rebecca west who have met thompson in london in 1921, whom jim spoke about in his introduction, and later when
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dorothy was a chief of the bureau in berlin, was as courageous and as an domino ball as american friend, possibly more so. kindred spirits intent on breaking through that concrete ceiling of male-dominated literature and journalism. they both were intent on confronting the pivotal issues of their times head-on. and they would remain friends all of their lives. rebecca west had as humble a beginning as dorothy thompson eric she was born so silly isabel fairfield on the outskirts of london in 1892 to a
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scotch highland mother with musical aspirations, and a truly gifted journalist father. when he left them, abandoned them to poverty, when she, too, was only eight, she was both devastated and liberated. as angry as she was, she, like thompson, was able to invent herself. noddy and rebellious, ms. fairfield first tried to be an actress, which was a terrible thing for a respectable woman to
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do. but early on she realized that her true passion and her true ability was the spoken word. and she became a feminist journalist as a tool for initiating social change. by the age of 20 she had earned a reputation as a serious polemicist, and by the age of 30, she was not only a journalist, she was a literary biographer, a novelist, and a literary critic with a scathing reputation. for 40 years, rebecca west took britain by storm. are writing cut across every genre, from fiction to nonfiction, and the range of her
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knowledge was wide and deep. she can truly be called a public intellectual, in the sense that lionel trilling defined it. one whose writing land at the crossroads of literature, the bloody crossroads of literature and politics. and west, like thompson, was among the very first to perceive the oncoming danger of nazi devastation. although by nature she was more of a moral philosopher and intellectual than a journalist, like thompson. she nonetheless traveled alongside her banker husband as he was an emissary with schroeder's bank, a german bank.
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and was commissioned by the british government to investigate and understand countries across eastern europe. on one of these assignments she went to yugoslavia, and the trip changed her life. from a distance she could see the disintegration of british culture. and its political -- at a time when great steaks were on the table, with more clarity than ever before. the result was her magnum opus,
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black lamb and grey falcon, a political military and cultural history of yugoslavia that in her hands became a microcosm of tribal contention and foreign conquest that altered the face of europe under nazi siege. it was a 1200 page clarity and call to arms. meant to awaken her compatriots from the deep white sleep of appeasement. to the ruthlessness of hitler and mussolini. and the devastation of the
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democratic ideals, their ascendancy implied. but black lamb was just one of her more than 30 books. along with hundreds of essays and articles she wrote during her lifetime, in american and british periodicals. "the new republic," "the new yorker," u.s. news and world report, the "evening standard," "the daily telegraph, the spectator, just to name a few. in which she grappled with a dazzling array of issues that actually defined the essence of life in the 20th century. democracy versus totalitariani totalitarianism, nationalism
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versus the new internationalism, the legal and moral intricacies of punishing war criminals, the meaning of treason, the validity of christianity, and the silence of god. but what was astonishing about rebecca west was that she never went to university. early on she understood that she was smarter and more capable than her classmates, or even her children -- her -- sorry, probably, probably her son. but also her teachers. she was an autodidact, great
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philosophy, theology and philosophy. managing to out perform and outclass those of high birth and formal education. throughout her career she was honored with the middle, from america and france. but her coup de grace came in 1959 when queen elizabeth awarded her game commander of the british empire for her contribution to 20th century literature. now, how do we account for the success of these two women? pure raw intelligence and drive,
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certainly, but there were other smart and ambitious women. what distinguished thompson and west was their courage to jettison the constraints of the past, break the rules and forge a path for women in journalism and literature at a time of great political upheaval. their influence was of perception, character, drive, and the guts to speak truth to power, at a time that was cataclysmic in world history. in short, they felt an
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overriding sense of historical mission, and were willing to do everything to make their voices heard. but there was a danger in their ambition, a dark side, which is exactly why i named my book "dangerous ambition." it was certainly heroic, but risky to throw away the rules and make new ones up on the fly. at the cutting edge of such change, they had no understanding of who and what they were sacrificing. so intent on achieving their
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goals, even when they had the slightest glimmer that they were hurting those whom they loved, they chose to turn away, caring more about humanity then those people in their personal lives. their relationships with men ended either in divorce or in deep antipathy, and their sons feeling abandoned and alone, spend much of their lives trying to bring them down. dorothy thompson son, michael lewis, the issue of her contemptuous and ultimately failed marriage to sinclair
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lewis was a lost and lonely young man who became like his father, an alcoholic. he could never measure up to his parents expect nation. and although he had a gift for acting, he ultimately succumbed to invalids and philandering. destroying the lives of his wife and his children. rebecca west's son, anthony west, was a product, and some of you may know this, of our decade long relationship with h.g. wells, whom, as you know, was one of the most celebrated authors in the english language at the time. whose legendary books are still read today.
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he was 46, married with two sons, and when they met. and west was a mere girl of 19. who was easily, and i might add, willingly, seduced by his intellectual brilliance and rapacious sexuality. he had indeed -- wells had indeed met his match in rebecca, but each was as ambitious and self absorbed as the other. and their union quickly unraveled, but it was their son, anthony, who would pay the price. caught in the middle he hunkered for love that neither one of his parents could give him.
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and though anthony himself was a gifted writer, he chose to siphon his creative energy by punishing his mother for his illegitimate birth. she became through his eyes force of deception, corruption, and mendacity. but it may be said that neither west now are wells, nor thompson nor lewis, had the slightest notion of how to love one another, or their sons. although thompson and west were flawed and imperfect heroines, we are the beneficiaries of their legacy, undaunted courage,
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in domino ball energy, -- indomitable energy, "speaking truth to power" regardless of its costs. they grappled with the great political and moral issues of their times so that we might harness and clarify their vision to meet the imposing exigencies of our print. thank you so much for coming and for listening. [applause] >> and. >> if you have questions, we have two microphones on either side of the center section. please let us know if you have
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questions. susan hertog is going to answer them for just a few minutes. thank you. >> you mentioned that thompson left for england with $150. really without any track record of any career in journalism. how did she actually break in in london? i know she became the first foreign correspondent within five years but how did she actually breaking did in? >> well, she went to the international news service, and volunteered her services. she said, don't pay anything. just give me assignments. and i'll do whatever you want me to do, and i promise to bring back the story. and that's how she made her way into journalism, into foreign correspondents. she was picked up later by the
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"new york post," and as you heard me say, she was indicated in 180 newspapers around the country. and reached eight to 10 million readers a day. but the answer to your question is, by pure, raw guts. she knew she could do it. she didn't care if she got paid for it. she knew she could bring that story home, and do a good job. >> i'm curious about your primary sources. the story, i was reading the book, and there's a story of dorothy's mother's passing, how did you research that and how did you bring that to sort of an amazing narrative? i'm just curious, what your
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primary sources were? >> i think you're speaking about the fact that her mother had a botched abortion at the hands of dorothy thompson's grandmother, who decided that she had enough children, thank you, and she was poor as a church mouse because she was married to this preacher who was a good man, but he wasn't bringing home the bacon. and there were all kinds of herbal and concoctions, one of which she formulated and used on, for poor margaret grisham, and, unfortunately, her mother died within hours.
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the source material was, as i said in my introduction, came from great researchers who, on whose shoulders i stand, particularly teater kirk -- peter kirk who understood the story, who had gone through all the papers, and the people in the congregation had heard these rumors and soon they came back to dorothy thompson. and she was mortified. i think that's partially why she became interested in the women's suffrage movement. she wanted to help give women a voice, the voice that her own mother never had. thank you.
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>> well, if that's it, thank you so much. have a beautiful day. and thank you for listening. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪ >> you can see that susan hertog is talking with the librarian of congress. james billington, live from the national book festival. this is booktv on c-span2. in just a few minutes john
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farrell will be in the history and biography tent talking about his new book, "clarence darrow: attorney for the damned" is what it is called. but here on our booktv said just a few feet from history and biography tent, we are joined by a face be you may not nobody voice you will know. steve inskeep, cohost of morning edition on npr, and the author of this book, his first book, "instant city: life and death in karachi." steve inskeep, what happened in karachi on december 20, 2000? >> i'll let you and thanks by the way for the invitation and what for you guys are doing. on december 20, 2009 there was a religious procession in the middle of this gigantic mega- city, one of the rapidly growing megacities in the world that was bomb. it's a tragic story but when you begin digging into the details of that single day, peeling back
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the layers, what i discovered was the star that to me a loom and it's the way the world is developing, the way the world is going. the way that different kinds of people are coming together in cities, sometimes quite violently, and thrashing out our future. this is an event i learned about that became this book. now, how many people were killed, who bombed to? >> about three dozen people. saying precisely who bombed who is challenging, but in the end it turned out to be am at least according to the authorities, a militant group which is why many militant groups that are little known in the west but that are active in pakistan, that may or may not have the right of links to al qaeda but in this case they were bombing minority shia muslims, which gives to one of the themes of this book. this is the country would think of as being overwhelmingly muslim. 97% muslim. in reality it is quite diverse. there's a fair number of non-muslims and much diversity within islam and there is a huge
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sometimes debate, sometimes over how the muslim world is going to handle that diversity. we see that in the news right now. this whole argument over a film by taking the prophet mohammed which is led to protests and violence and attacks from libya to egypt to yemen to pakistan, just in the last few days. we see this debate over how islam is supposed to deal with dissent, how islam is supposed to do with other kinds of people, how islam is supposed to do with this agreement and also to deal with insult. it's clearly a very offensive but the question is how do you respond to them, what constructively do you do about that? and this was on my mind a few years ago as i wrote this book. i felt that this is a single day that eliminates a lot of the ongoing struggles in our world. that's what i wanted to go there, and i'm sad to say that some of the places and people that i detected in the book have been caught up again in about
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protests in the last few days. >> what's the genesis of this book? you tell the story about why you wrote this book. >> yeah, i'm a reporter. i started going to the city of karachi, pakistan in 2002. at first is just a place that has to on the way to cover the war in afghanistan. later in the place i was assigned to spendable bit of time and i didn't like it at all. it's more than 13 million people. robert a lot more. the streets are incredibly why. the traffic is horrendous. i was originally going there to cover a court proceeding related to the death of the wall street journalist daniel pearl. so it's a scary place for a westerner to arrive. but as i visited there again and again i begin to be compelled by the architecture, by the layers of history, by the incredible speed by which the city had grown and by the people. they are inspiring people who have survived a lot, put up with a lot, and get the next day and
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keep working and keep the city functioning. and that can is one of the vital points. we think of these giant growing cities in the developing world as terrifying places that are polluted, that can be dangerous, that can be a lot of terrible things and yet the reason they grow is because people are coming to them from outside the city to grab a chunk of to grab an opportunity, to learn some english to connect to the global economy to better their lives. this amazingly enough is a place of opportunity for a lot of people who go there. >> tell the airplane story. >> the l. -- the airplane story? >> the woman you met? >> oh, my goodness, yes. i was getting on a plane on my way to karachi during one of the reporting trips. i was changing planes in doha and a chairman struck up a conversation with me so i was talking and i felt a tap on my shoulder, and it was this teenager from texas, but on pakistan to send. she was on the plane. she's going to karachi and she
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said are you the guy from npr? an action i was that guy from npr. she introduced me to her mother who had heard a series of stories that i had done from her city, her home city back in 2008 and remembered them all and remember them with incredible detail. she said you did fine, you got the news, but there's so much more. you missed a lot. you could've gotten a lot more, and i couldn't agree more. as a journalist i go to these different places, you go to cover dramatic and developing news, but the most important thing i think is to go back and to get a deeper sense of the store and try to understand what's really going on in a complicated place. >> and you feel you got the deeper sense of the story? >> i got a deeper sense of the story but this is an unbelievably complicated place. that's one of the reasons why i try to lay her back -- peel back the layers. when you think about, like the old saying like there's
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7 million stories of the naked city. if you go to a city in the developing world and there's 13 or 15 or 20 million, it's a complicated place. it's a place that often seemed completely nonsensical into you get there, and then you're totally in scarfed in and when you go away can't it seems to make sense. it's a challenge to understand these places. it's also rewarding to understand some of the dynamics. >> steve inskeep, would you go to karachi tomorrow and feel safe to? >> i would go to karachi to more if there was a reason to go. in a way i would because when you go there as a foreigner, even though there's all this protest and all this unhappiness with america generally, when you go there as an individual you are welcomed here there's a great culture of hospitality. there's a lot of excitement if you're a foreigner and you actually show up. a are excited that someone is coming to meet him, to look around and even to hear their point of view. so people i should i think look after you a little more than if you are a native of the city.
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and i was well cared for. you have to take some precautions but you have to think about where you're going to spend the night if you're a foreigner. you have to think about where you're going to go in the city because in many places it's a dangerous city and there are eruptions of violence as they were just on friday. you have to get some serious thought to this but in the end i found in the city and in many other area, more or less dangerous places in the world, the way to go about it is simply to go and to do your business and to talk to people and to go away again. you discover that the overwhelmingly majority, overwhelming majority of people are good people, and even many who are not will at least be courteous. >> something you address in trenton is the term suicide bomber. what does that mean to you? >> suicide bomber, in some cases you discover that it's not a suicide bomber at all. the incident at the center of my book appeared to be a suicide bombing at first. later turned out not to be one but it was a bomb that had been
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left in what looked like a mailbox basically. it was a box that was for damage grants and other pieces of scripture to be properly disposed. someone put a bomb in that box which to me is powerfully, powerfully symbolic. and you discover there are a lot of people are using a lot of calculating techniques in order to read destruction. i think, as terrifying as it sounds, it's a lot less common today than it has been in the past. people are finding ways to remote detonate explosives. they are using technology in ways that are ever more insidious. >> your first book? >> yes. >> what was your experience? to have a second look? >> i just signed a contract the other day. very excited about that. it's a great experience but what's the topic? >> it's going to be a little more domestic. it's going to involve andrew
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jackson as a really significant event. in the life of the president. the guy on the $20 bill. an event that everybody learns a sense about in school but there's a deeper deeper story to it. so in a way on to another deep dyed just like i did a deep dive on something that i knew a little bit about but realized i wanted to know a lot more. >> what is that one since we all learn in school speak with the trail of tears. about the removal of indians from the eastern united states. there's a lot more to that story. it speaks a lot of ways to the contentiousness of our politics today. >> if the voice you're hearing sounds familiar, that's because it is steve inskeep who is cohost of npr's "morning edition," and author of his first book, "instant city: life and death in karachi." he joins us here at the national book festival. now, if you would like to hear mr. inskeep a lived on a a
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longer format, we will be webcasting his event from one of the tents here at the national book festival later this afternoon. you can watch that at booktv.org. in fact, our full schedule of live coverage on our web, on our webcast and on c-span2 is available at booktv.org. well, in just a minute joining us here on c-span2, or speaking at the history and biography tent will be john farrell. he has written a book about clarence darrow. he will be speaking in the 10th. this will be live coverage and you can also watch our webcast as well. christopher braun is speaking over into contemporary life and billion on imminent outlaws. so you have your choice. go to your computer and watch online or you can join us here on c-span2. we will return to the history
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and biography tent now. this is live coverage. >> as opposed to the charter sponsor, a dozen or so years since this wonderful event again. i hope it will for many more years to come. so before we had lawyers who are bloggers and bloggers were judges and judges who had shows on cable. before we had nancy grace or "scotus blog" or even others, we had clarence darrow, the original architect of the american defense attorney, brilliant, plain spokesman, passionate. and the subject of a wonderful new biography by john farrell. now, most of us remember darrow over evolution and academic freedom. but john farrell tells a story of a man who defended mobsters and thrill killers and anarchists and bootleggers and
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con men. and the man who is put on trial himself or bribing jurors. and he does so in the context of america's transformation from andy gray in society to an industrial powerhouse. and it is my distinct pleasure to introduce john farrell, with the "national journal," "the boston globe," denver post and others and the author of another acclaimed biography, tip o'neill and the democratic century. now, there will be time for questions at the end. you can just come up to either of the mic here, and i should inform you before weekend that these presentations are being filmed for the library of congress' website and for their archives and c-span is airing them live. so be on your best behavior. also the author will be signing books at 2 p.m. please join me in welcoming john farrell. [applause] >> that was a wonderful introduction to authors love great introduction and great
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reviews. for those of you out there go onto amazon and click four or five, don't think that we don't read every single one of them. and if you get a 4.5 you said the agency want to come you could have gone the extra half and given me a five? but the more and more i thought about that, i've of this is a great american thing that it was hard to get a five. a lot of people would do a review and and say this is a good book but it has a lot of legal fans, i'm not sure it's everybody's cup of tea and a show sort of a -- a tolerance that americans have. in one of my reviews was along that line. it came from the town library and in auburn maine. when they get a new book into the library she reads it and then she sent a little note around to everybody because the winters in maine are long. there's nothing like sitting in front of the fire as the snow comes down in june reading a good book. and this is what she wrote.
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she said, this is the definitive book of a great attorney, filled with courtroom drama and celebrity gossip, if you like that kind of thing. [laughter] so i hope you like this kind of thing. 100 years ago last fall clarence darrow, the famous defense attorney, stood on a downtown los angeles sidewalk and he watched his chief investigator seized by the police caught in the act of bribing a juror. a few weeks later, darrow was indicted on two counts of bribery, and burt franklin, the investigator, agreed to testify against them. he swore that darrow had ordered him to pay $4000 to jurors who agreed to vote not guilty. and darrow was at that time at the height of the same one of america's foremost trial lawyers, political leaders and populist champions, and his careened staggered off track there in southern california. caught up by shame he left his
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wife one reunite for the apartment of his mistress. with a revolver in one pocket and a whiskey barrel -- whiskey bottle in the other, he sat down and vowed to kill them so. she brought out two glasses. they sat at a wooden table underneath one of those swinging bare lightbulbs. and fortunately for us she talked him out of it. he went on to create an american architect, lawyer for the little guy, advocate for the common folk. poking his thumbs, regarding the jury from beneath that cascading shock of hair, speaking with plain but emotional conviction of the nobility of man, the frailty of mankind and the threat to liberty posed by narrowminded men of wealth and their legal guns for hire, and his words, i believe, resonate especially today. ..
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politicians, newspaper men in the hallways outside jammed with spectators trying to get in. at times in his career, thousands of people what's around the courthouse on the outside listening, hoping to catch a glimpse of the words coming through the windows as the closed for the defense. now, in his lectures and public speaking, which he did a lot of, he affected a humble awkwardness
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a court is simplicity to endear him to his audience. you get stuck with his arms folded tapping his gold spectacles on his shoulder, his brow contracted in thought. of did he would lean on the rail and take the jurors into his confidence, talking so softly that those in the back row had to lean forward so that they could hear what he said. all of a sudden is to me there would changed voice turned harsh, john muscles tighten soaring toward a chris endo, swinging his arms, and then the storm will pass. [applause] the sun would return. the jurors would relax. congeal engaging. he never addressed juries, he said carries but to them. it was all about contact. very important to american legal proceeding and history. judges and prosecutors do their duty. they were there to exact
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vengeance and to safeguard property. but darrow believed that juror's commit given the opportunity and a skillful enough invitation could be persuaded to look past the legal particular, judge defendant in the context of his time, situational factors that prompt behavior. he sought to make even the most serious of crimes comprehensible he talked about human beings and the difficulties of life and the futility of human planning, the misfortunes of the accused, the strange workings of fate and chance that had landed this porcelain trouble. he would try to make the jury understands not so much the case as the defendant, and it was not unusual in the late 19th and early 20th century for some of those arguments to go on to an hours a day for three days at a time, to give a closing argument in a significant case he would do so without notes in marvelous displays of intellect and concentration. and it was more than a tactic. it was what he believed. he was a determinant. he did not believe in free will,
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nor good, nor evil. there were no more of salutes, truth, justice, of the mercy. as he put it, we are all poor, maligned creatures bound hand and foot by the chains of heredity and environment doing what we have to do in a barbarous and cruel world. that's about all there is. he had no faith in god or churches and won notoriety in the jazz age as the country's most prominent atheist. he built a moral code upon the lives of very pointlessness, and the comfort and tolerance that we can beings can give to our fellow doomed creatures here on this planet. the practicing defense attorney, trial lawyer, and it is time he represented the mad bomber who felt that if he destroyed the chicago opera house it would bring an end to world war one. little tommy crosby, a 13-year-old charged with murder after shooting a sheriff who had come to you victim's family three days before christmas. need this to say there'll got
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him off. and then there was a suspect in the chicago gambling from who went to women came to bail amount of notes each other and both claiming to be his wife decided he would rather spend the night in jail. [laughter] there were gangsters and psychopaths and rumrunners and journalists ended bunco and many a scorned woman. a socialite who smuggled a handgun into court shot her husband in the middle of their divorce proceeding. just kill them. i hope so. but could not resist the case or the wisecracks. she was no doubt guilty of contempt of court. but leading the classic definition of huntsman he convince that jury to have mercy of the poor widow. [laughter] they could not arrest the woman for shooting and killing.
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it's nothing like chicago. and like billy fled, a notorious rick, a professed acidulous who took great pleasure. and he used sex as well as a narcotic. he relied on physical near this, his mistress said, to escape the emptiness and spiritual isolation. sex, he told her, was the only feeling in the world that can make you forget for a little while. and work as well. i've had a consciousness that i was doing it to keep myself occupied so that i might forgive myself. every man had his dope, whether it was religion, philosophy, creed, was the chemical faint -- cocaine, morphine, anything to take the weight of reality. and so we have a hero, intelligent, captivated, a renegade with little regard for right or privilege. to him the world was equally a moral above as well as the los of the progressive area reformer frederick hero.
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some might be squeamish about it in the criminal cases? in the course of that 60-year career he would tailor testimony, pay off witnesses and tracy tried for a jury bribing and both times barely escaped. do not the rich and powerful bribe jurors, you would as? did not intimidate and coerce judges? to the shrink from any weapons? get in -- compassion for those the faced loss or despair or persecution. a strong emotional nature doted by his upbringing. his father was a book living freethinking of their and owner of a royal furniture shop, abolitionist with steep values of liberty and equality. compassion plays a role of a unifying theory in his chaotic universe. the bids in his other office was built by overalls. poor women from the slums hold in threadbare clothes.
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as one less charitable paul describe it, the types one would expect in a fortune teller parlor including half wits whom even got could not teach anything. he would emerge at the end of the day, see the long line, side, and offer an understanding in smile. sunday dinners would grow cold as he sat with a client for an hour or more patiently hearing the facts of the case, offering advice to the poor man's troubled. depending upon how he was fixed at the time of 30 more of his cases are to nothing. he spent much of his money on wine, women, and song and the rest to wasted. up seven he was the foremost champion of personal liberty in this time. when he was a boy he liked to say the hired man and dignity, dining with a family of his employers, shared their peewit church on mondays. court the boss's daughter. there were no big banks, stores, very little money in the body and a monopoly and other riches or poverty.
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the nation's founding principles were stretched beyond recognition in the roar of the industrial age. a shrewd and lucky few made huge fortunes and they found in the writings of charles darwin and herbert spencer the comforting assurance that the port deserves their love. they ordered managers to lower cost and when workers organized deals or unions private armies and local militia were summoned to a breakup strikes and demonstrations often with volleys of rifle fire. as one explain the social order of the time, the perplexing question why one man should be strong, happy, and prosperous and another week, afflicted, and distressed may be entered by the suggestion that the purpose was to teach the power of human endurance and the ability of a life of struggle. well, according to the courts a workers only right was to negotiate man-to-man and take
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himself elsewhere when terms are not to his liking and then marry the boss's daughter. atop the social order the robber barons flaunted their aristocratic aspirations by dressing up like 18th-century european royalty, spectacular parties, a chorus girls jump of cakes and hang diamond colors on their stocks. the greatest, they were uninhibitedly from 08 in their misconduct. drooling, eating and drinking incredible amounts. they sometimes seemed to avoid a shame, manners, and morals and in the ethics of let me. well, the barron's also control legal establishment right up to the supreme court or the justices were to work diligently and redefining the bill of rights is a guarantee of property of all else. the jurists who resisted aggrandized and would be honored by history and the mediocrities of the court at the time would be forgotten. that was no consolation for the working men and women at the time. by his 40th birthday in 1897,
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the great economic release valve, the frontier, had been gone. at the time he was america's top labor lawyer. in los angeles to defend james and john mcnamara, to union terrorists who planted a bomb in the los angeles times 1910 killing 20 innocent printers a newspaperman in the explosion. notable victories defending laborers and woodworkers. he had faced down the robber barons and gunman. he had no illusions in the fall of 1911 that the forces of industry of los angeles would place where. bribing a jury to save a man's life is misters wrote, he would not hesitate. but he survived it came out a better man and of more fine lawyer and had been on the ropes he knew what it was to suffer. the great muckrakers said the senate is humbled. the man at last season is
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frightened. faces accusers squarely in los angeles making elegant please in his own defense that he won a not guilty verdict in the first trial and a hung jury in the next. from the ashes of his ordeal darrow force the grandest of american legal careers at a champion of personal liberty in defender of the underdog. he became the attorneys for the damned. broken disgraced returned to chicago took the cases of others . there was isaac bottom of black men accused of the upper rape and murder. comnenus to anarchist's snared in the reactionary fervor of world war one and the red scare. frank lloyd wright, sexual freedom when the architect was pursued by federal prosecutors for violation of the man act which made it a crime for unmarried couples to cross state lines. today we recall his plea against the death penalty and for the lives of nathan leopold and richard low, killers who murdered a chicago boy to devastate their intellectual superiority by committing the
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perfect crime. it was an especially despicable killing. the call for mercy in a closing argument that lasted three days in the stifling summer of 1924 save their necks. of course, we remember darrow for the trial where he fought for academic and scientific freedom and battled those who would inject religion and ban the teaching of evolution in the public-school. stymied by a hostile judge he called the lead prosecutor three-time presidential candidate william jennings bryan to the stand. demoralized by spencer tracy. when the trial was over he was the most famous lawyer in the world. '68 democratic the short of money and for retirement. he could have demanded huge fees on wall street representing rich divorce is a chicago. instead he took the case. an african-american physicians and move into a white neighborhood in detroit. it was the summer that the klan
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had marched down pennsylvania avenue. you might remember the photos from our history books and high-school, all of those folks in white robes walking with the capitol behind them. in detroit a mob gathered pricking the windows of the house threatening its inhabitants. he and his family and friends fired that crowd killing one man and injuring another, there were charged with murder. defending into a grueling trial that spanned seven months for a token fee raised by the naacp. he won the case but was staggered by a heart attack in the summer of 1926 and was never the same. the great theme block -- the long war that he fought in is much to the courtrooms and cases was the defense of individual liberty from the relentless crushing and personal forces of modernity. no era of the world has witnessed such a rapid concentration of wealth and power as this one. history furnishes about the lessons of the inevitable result . liberty produced prosperity and this prosperity books with
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doubting i upon the mother liberty you give it breath and threatens to strangle her step. americans need a new, sustaining in his embrace, in defense of life's underdogs, darrow created one giving the narrative voice, tested supplies was sympathetic characters and forces on place in american folklore. the underdog got on top and would probably be just as rotten as the underdog. but in the meantime i am for him. he needs his friends a damn sight more. americans of his era through it strength. they can again today. there is something grand and epic in his fierce resistance to those oppressive forces which in varying sizes had inspired the rebels in his ancestry, the abolitionists in his boyhood, and it imperils freedom in his lifetime and still pose a threat to our liberty today. the marks of battle are all over his face after watching the road
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trial. he has been through more wars than a regiment of pershings, and most have been startled to the death without quarter quarter. has he always one? actually, no. his cause seems lost among us. facilities live on. they do, but they are not as safe as they used to beat. thanks. [applause] >> when darrell argued his cases , was he always putting the interests of his clients first, or did his desire to promote a particular political point of
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view or his desire to expand his own persona on the national stage sometimes take precedence over the interests of his clients. >> that is a great question, and this is probably the great issue about the darrows character. when he took these cases he would take them with the idea of staging a public trauma that would teach and instruct and advance his political agenda and, of course, making money and give him fame as well. the fame of the money has been pretty much affable to any good defense attorney, but there were a lot of people who said the fm, you are misusing your clients, using them as pawns in your reader political game. the chief criticism at the time, particularly in that big bill
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hayward trial that was in idaho, the western federation of miners had been charged with blowing up a former governor of idaho with a bomb in his garden gate. darrow was accused of giving this great compassion closing argument that was all about socialism. it was all about equality. it was all about redistribution. and he was accused by one of his defense lawyers of doing exactly what you said. i forgive him for it because i don't think he did cross the line in that particular case. the hayward case was a very small court room, and he was sitting here. the jury was right where those lights are. that is up close he was. the jury was not over on the side. he was in front of the judge. so for three months he was this far away, and he would make wisecracks with them and
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cultivate them and talk to them. he had a very, very good idea when he made that first closing argument when it was a wanted to year. of course he was vindicated by the verdict which was not guilty. >> clarence darrow was a brilliant lawyer. you mentioned the leopold case. and in that case the argument that he made about the elimination of the death penalty , his exact words, your honor, society may that be in need of protection from these two despicable individuals forever. and it turns out that richard lowe who was a means of a gun died in a prison fight. it nathan leopold basically will his body to science. biological tests, subjected his body to biological tests and it pulled the point. the thing that is ironic about it.
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the judge, the man who was the judge in that trial did not accept clarence darrow's argument. he sentenced them to life imprisonment because he was convinced in his memoirs he was convinced it would be the more cruel thing, the more cruel punishment. so clarence darrow never knew that this judge did not accept his argument. he actually made a wonderful argument against the death penalty, but the judge did not accept it. anyway. >> it is a famous argument, and it is a classic darrow argument in that it does not start at a endo disease. it starts as a end then it backtracks and wonders of them bring up in and no and be. if you talk for three days you can't go from aided be. the total impression will be lost. he had to sort of read back like
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of be looking for a flower. and one of the things that he consistently did in the trial, illinois had never executed teenager's in a case where they pled guilty, and so he pled the two of them guilty and was constantly trying to give the judge a reason why he could save the boys' lives when all of chicago wanted to see them hung for this despicable crime. and so he always kept coming back to this. there is no precedent for this. there is no precedent. the state has never done this. he would "poetry and tucker of the death penalty in that come back and say by the way, a 19th and 18th. these will be the first boys, he actually called the boys, you know, the poor boys. you're not going to execute them. that was the hook that he gave the judges. finally he could ride an opinion saying, well, not about to break precedent. president constrains me. at the judge, and that's why i'm
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not going to execute the when of chicago won the to be done. he gave the judge appeared with his other arguments for three days he prepared public opinion for this verdict that would save the boys' lives that the judge himself would not have been pilloried for making this decision. that was what was so masterful about him. >> yes. clarence darrow is famous for his speeches. how was he at the nuts and bolts of law, the procedures and corporate procedures. >> she was very good at picking juries. he was a great judge of human nature. he was very good at cross-examination, but he was awful at the technical part of the law, and he would pick up in his famous case, arthur garfield hayes was the attorney for the american civil liberties union. the judge would say, all right. we're going to have an argument on that point of law. parents to you want to come back into my office.
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leyritz was sick, no, let arthur and of that. i don't do that. earlier in his career, i don't know how many of you had to read but the author was an attorney. he became the legal partner. most of the legal brief writing, when they had to go into the appeals court was done by masters. there is a whole chapter about their very famous falling got and the incredible spite they had for each other for the rest of their lives. they were both very greedy, womanizers, and both convinced that they were literary men thrown into the wrong profession and what they really needed was peace and quiet that the other one make all the money so i can retreat to my office or write poetry and novels. it is a great untold story of american legal history. >> did daryl ever get involved in politics and endorsed any candidates, though i expect a
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candid it might not want his endorsement. >> one of the exciting things i found when i was doing the story was, we all know about william jennings bryan cross of gold speech and the populist movements studied in school that took place in the 1890's. and brian represented the farmers that were the core of the populist party, but also an urban populist party. clarence darrow was the chief of the urban populist movement in chicago where it was first tested to see if he could couple the interest of the dirt farmers with the immigrants and the factory workers in the city. and so he ran for congress once and was defeated. he was offered the nomination for mayor of chicago and turned it down and was offered the nomination for governor of illinois entered the town. in 1904 when william randolph hearst ran forresident, darrow tried to do what william jennings bryan had done, which is seize the presidential nomination with a single speech.
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he was supposed to nominate first for the presidency. he wrote this amazing speech. he gave it as -- at midnight one night at the democratic national convention. all the reporters just loved it. it did move the gallery bill wait -- it did not move the gallery the way that bryant had, the magic just was not there. the goal democrats, the wall street democrats to come back and seize the party and controlled the floor. so it was a trick that darrow tried. he could not pull it off. it was one of the reasons why he hated bryan ellis life. he thought that he was a smarter and better populace that brian that brian got all this unjustified recognition. and when that day came into the sea that he could put brian on the stand and tear him apart and put this awful ending tell his
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political reputation and indeed he died several days later, a dislike of the movie. darrow's sleep -- sees it with relish. probably no time of his life that he was happier than in those hours when he was making a fool in front of the whole country. >> do you have any thoughts on where they are today, some of his issues still being fought in texas where there is a bryan, texas. the school systems are still turning some of the same issues. >> only one statue outside the courthouse in the tennessee, and it is not darrow. it is william jennings bryan. convictions about revolution. the first part of the question is important. it is an interesting question because i get asked a lot. and that -- is an easy one for me to answer. in doing the research for this book came upon this amazing
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class of public defenders. the death penalty bar. and they work in texas, georgia, illinois, places where executions are carried on routinely. most of their clients are guilty . they list the horrible things they say they have done. they know they're not going to get them off, and yet they throw themselves into the defense of these on the principle that everybody needs an offense and if the death penalty is wrong. and makes collectively over the past and 15 years i think that they have, you know, helps change american attitude about the death penalty. we are switching back again away from executions. about ten years ago it was the thing to do and people were dying almost daily around the country. so this very unselfish, known, unrewarded group of defense attorneys that nobody knows their names are the heroes of today.
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>> two quick questions. did he did a pretty good reading or was that pro bono? the other was, did he did scopes of? i thought that he was convicted? >> an amazing trial. it was not like harris. dayton, tennessee was a small sleepy southern town. could not even drink. it was a dry town. the town fathers one summer day were sitting around in the drug store drinking coca-cola said. one guy said, a paper that the american civil liberties union is looking for a test case on this evolution thing. the druggist happens to be the school board president. let me go get the text. i think we teach evolution in the schools. well, why don't we stays a trial here. you know, who is going to be defended? go get john scopes, young
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fellow. up playing tennis. they brought him in and said, this is what we want to do. you're apt to be convicted. is that okay with you? the tickets to the supreme court >> okay. i'll do that. they sent a telegram to the american civil arizona st. we have your defendant. he will be convicted and you can take the cases appear court. it was set as a publicity stunt from the beginning of three lawyers being lawyers, as soon as they get into the courtroom, they knew somebody was going to go down as the loser and of a sudden started to mysteriously inserted arguing back and forth. and the state of tennessee, the district attorney who was supposed to be an on the were going to convict this guy pont decided that he was going to bar all experts testimony. so he did that. so he said, i have no ready to call. to my going to call. he sat and thought. they sat and did rehearsals.
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where did cain give his life? howdy john get out of the fish. so they were all planned and ready. on monday, came around. i want to call. you let me call any scientific experts, i want to call a physical expert, and that's the way and jennings bryan got on the stand in dayton, tennessee. he was convicted. the judge made the very unfortunate for history mistake of giving too high a fine for what a judge was allowed to do. anything over $80 the jury had to do. instead the judge fined and $100. there was a technicality. and when the case was argued in the supreme court, on that technicality the state of tennessee, which at this time was so angry they have been exposed to the entire world is a bunch of southern backwoods ignoramuses, seized on a technicality to reverse the case
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but in reversing the case they issued a strict order back to the trial judge saying, you are not to retry this case. and so in the in the aclu lost because they did not get their testimony to go and it did not happen for many years later. dan whether that was pro bono. >> scathingly criticized for representing because their parents were very wealthy families in chicago which is part of the reason why such a famous case was that these boys had been given everything this country has to give answers to wasted by this stupid thread killing. so darryl had to accused -- issued a statement because the papers were talking about the million dollar defense. so i agree that we will go by as special board of the local bar association and establish a suitable fee thinking all the
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while that mildred ever hold it to him and he would still make seven other thousand dollars or ever was because the two families were wealthy and it began to take the case. he went to the families and they said, well, you said that the bar association. he said, what? kellogg. this is what you said you came to my house the middle of the nine biggest of the lives. it would before the bar association and the of the muslim nuys deity had to sweat with his co attorney. any other lawyer would have been happy with the fee. anybody else to back. >> yes. i would like to follow up on the leopold, a more personal question. i was born in chicago on the
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south side in hyde park. my father went to a height part high-school born in 1921. what did the people in hyde park think about clarence darrow's representation and how did he in list? >> the atmosphere in chicago as a whole, one of the things it had to do was to slow things down as best he could. try to give the judge some way to not have said he had support within the small academic community a lot of people came
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to chicago and said this is going it's a new theory, being tested right here. that's part of the reason why remember to the state. in the end all that talk went for naught because the judge did make the decision on much narrower grounds. so in his decision he said we all have to go any of that scientific stuff. you know they did it. the only question here is whether not were going to hang him. but hyde park at that time was a very liberal community, as it is now. taro was very much within the academic community. he had this thing called biology club where the different faculty members would come over to his house. twenty of them would gather in his library, and whoever was the smart one on the scientific said he would lecture for half an hour. then they would argue back and forth about the facts and
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somebody would come another we can talk about freud. he was very much a part of the academic community. overall he turned very slowly as public opinion to say the boys' lives. but he did not really have to go too far among that select group at the university of chicago. thank you very much. [applause] [background noises]
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[background noises] >> end john farrell, who you were just listening to here at the national book festival is the former washington editor of the boston globe. he has also written a book about tip o'neill. this is a c-span2 book tv live coverage from the national book festival, the 12th annual of the mall here in washington d.c. coming up next in the history biography tent david maraniss, barack obama the story, biographer of the president just published in june, speaking in that tent shortly and that he will be followed by bob
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woodward, another associate editor at the washington post. mr. woodward's 19th book is the price of politics, all about the budgets and the last couple of years with the obama white house and republican house and the democratic senate. so those are the next two speakers live from the national book festival this year. as we continue our live coverage. here on our set just a few feet from the history and biography ten we are joined by author thomas mallon who has written this book, watergate a novel. now, we are a nonfiction work. how do you write a novel about watergate? how you approach that? >> the reader will find that the agreed upon facts, most of the big ones are still intact. president nixon resigns in 1974, the same basic time line. it is not what sometimes it's altered, the history.
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but i think what they can do with the existing history is in certain things in between. and then try to get an inside the heads of some of the peripheral players as well as some of the main players. >> a republican operative in the nixon white house without a business card bought in the white house directory. it fell to have to be the man who coordinated the payments to the burglars. >> historical fact. >> is this historical fact. and a very small softspoken intriguing man. he had a tragedy in his life when he was young, when he was in his late 20's he accidentally killed his father
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while they were out hunting. and he was an intriguing figure. i remember thinking he had the kind of personality i want to think about and export. he becomes a main player in the novel even though he was a relatively minor one in the scandal itself. >> is the protagonist in your novel? >> i'm not sure there is. about seven different points of view. some big people, some less figures. president nixon, this is nixon, the main character. eleanor roosevelt longworth approaching 90 at the time of the watergate scandal, teddy roosevelt staffer, still very sharp, still very humorous and would be. and she is sort of my one-woman which course with the long historical memory. howard hunt, one of the burglars who was one of -- the only person that i knew, actually. i knew him when i was in the
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magazine business. he was from an article for me when i was a gentle it -- jevons quarterly. i had him review a spy novel. he used to write them. and elliott richardson from the investigative side of things and a few more rail -- relatively minor, the president's secretary a great many of the players actually had their homes there. the mitchells live there. it was not just the headquarters of was there to be burgled. >> now, david mariness -- thomas mallon, yesterday we spent some time here at the national book festival. do they feature in watergate to the novel? >> in a minor way they come and go. julie nixon was a very valiant defender for father. david eisenhower was a good father lot throughout the scandal. julie nixon wrote a very good
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could -- a good book about her mother, of the least known of the first lady's that we had in modern times. never heard from again after the nixons left the white house, never did interviews, never wrote her own memoirs. and mrs. nixon was somebody i tried to bring to life in the book. >> you have written several historical fiction books, nonfiction, novels. how do you approach historical fiction? >> i always tell people who are contemplating writing it if they have not before, don't leave too much about the time you're writing about but from it. if you want to know how people thought, how they spoke, the way their minds worked, read what actually came out of the time. in other words, eliminate the middleman. this is why some historians are not very fond of historical fiction because it tries to do something different.
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historians also have to hedge their bets. well, at this point it is not unreasonable to suppose that richard nixon might have fought. if you're a novelist you go inside his head and haven't ticket. is that history. it's more entertaining than is educational. it's one thing that genre can add to actual history. >> what is your day job? >> i teach at george washington university. >> talking here with thomas mallon. here on book tv at the national book festival as we continue our live coverage. in just a minute david mariness. "barack obama: the story" is his most recent presidential biography published in june. by the way, book tv travel to kenya as he was researching this book. we traveled with him.
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you can watch that to end half-hour program that we put together booktv.org. simply type his name in the search function in the upper left-hand corner and you can watch the entire program. live in just a minute from the history and biography test. bob woodward will follow him. he will also hear this afternoon from sally smith. in march she published a biography of queen elizabeth the second. she will be speaking. then book tv will join her on stage for a live national call. you will be able to call in and directs your calls. also have a couple of other rigidities this afternoon, including a pulitzer prize winner. you will be joining as here on our book tv said, as well christopher brahman, eminent outlaws as an it of his most recent book. so that coverage is this afternoon. you can also go on the web.
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we are web casting an entirely different set of author's life from the festival here. you find a full schedule. two options. you can't guess, once the web cast or you can stick with us here on book tv on c-span2. and now we're going to return to the history and biography tense. david mariness will be introduced by marcus broccoli. the executive editor of the "washington post". live coverage from the 12th annual national book festival here in washington d.c. [background noises]
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[background noises] [background noises]
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[background noises] [background noises] [background noises] >> we are going to start shortly. getting ready to be standing-room-only. if you have an interest, if there's a chair next to you please raise your hand says that some of the people standing in the back will be able to have to seek. so, again, david mariness will begin shortly.
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the next author after that, bob woodward who will be talking about his new book, the price of politics. thank you. ♪ [background noises] [background noises] >> hello. it afternoon. can you all hear me?
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i am the executor of the washington post. delighted to be here in glad that some of you are here. i would like to of welcome you to the suit doesn't of national book festival. the hope you're having a wonderful day. a spectacular day celebrating the joy of reading here on the national mall. wants to begin and remind you the civilian presentations are being filled for the library of congress website and for their archives. and by c-span on book tv. if you approach a microphone you will be recorded for all time. please be mindful of this is to enjoy the presentation and divested of the camera arises because of the unfortunate if the camera topple money. silencer cell phones and beepers. it is a pleasure to be here and see so many people. it is not a surprise. david mariness is a prodigious writer.
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he is written on sports win prize still mattered, is best-selling biography of vince lombardi which was made into a broadway play. he also wrote rome, 1960, but that captured the cultural epic set in motion by the olympics. written by vietnam and the cultural shock wave in this beautiful book, they marched into sunlight which i saw last year rendered interestingly. he has written books on politicians, newt gingrich and outdoor and, of course, he is a master biographer of the last two democratic presidents with first in his class published while bill clinton was still in office, barack obama the story, is epic in fascinating account of the president's early life. he has even written on writing. let's see. democrats, republicans, sports, journalists, counterculture, rome. no surprise that some of the people here. david grew up in madison, wisconsin, the son of a
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newspaper editor he jokes that he is the intellectual weak link with all of his siblings. we don't buy that. he is one a pulitzer prize. 1993 for his coverage of candid bill clinton and also a three-time pulitzer finalist who has entered considerable other prizewinning work. the is an assistant editor of the paper. he says that means is that have to associate with editors which is the really true because it continues to write and edit for us. in fact, he has overseen some of the fine work we have done this year on mitt romney and barack obama. what sets his riding a part is his reporting. he describes what things were like a morningside heights somehow david and his book and
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described every dive frequented, steady routine, rhythm of the urban campus of and vibrant the stella's inducing details. employees to work alongside them. [applause] >> thank you very much to markets. thank you all for being here today. probably just to see bob woodward, but i'm glad to be his leadoff man. i get through this event three times and kept getting bigger. it's quite amazing -- amazing. especially on a sunday afternoon during that the policies of. i guess there are no argy three fans were there watching another smart phones.
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president obama was in my home state to melissa benson, yesterday. of course, he had a couple of bratwursts. his first words were sort of a reiteration of the line that made him famous, but this time he said, you know, we are not bears fans first or packers fans first, but americans first. so of not red or blue states, what the united states. i no they're not that many football fans here today. my first story about president obama has to do with football. he was the last interview that i did for my book. i interviewed three andrew and 50 people will for him and traveled the world. i thought about what i would -- how i would break the ice with him for a long time. i remembered that he is a bears fan than i am a pakistan and that two years ago when the
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packers played the bears in the nfc championship game president obama announced that if the bears won he was going to the super bowl. the packers won. and the star player on the packers after the game got up on the table of the jesse berman said, president obama will come see us, but we're right to go see him at his house meeting if you win the super bowl you to visit the white house. this was their star quarterback, so when i finally got my interview with president obama and shook his hand and said, mr. president, charles got here before me, but i'm glad we both finally made it. he said, yeah, man, those packers were rough on me. i said, well, of course there were. you're a bears fan. he said, yeah, but every time i go to wisconsin they give me another share packer stock. which is true, and he keeps going. he was there yesterday. he will be there again because
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it is a swing state. he has more shares of packard stock than i do. this is my tenth book, and i had written a biography of bill clinton right after he was elected in 1992. after covering his campaign for the "washington post", and i have written some major profiles of barack obama in 2008. so there was kind of assumption that i was probably going to embark on his biography after the election if he had one. and i have to say that it wasn't that obvious to me. one of the most difficult decisions i have made as are rider over the last 20 years. and it had nothing to do with barack obama. it had to do with the modern american political culture which i thought was sick and getting sicker. and i was not sure that i wanted to endure undertaking a serious
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historical biography about a sitting president and getting thrown back in to the mall of this increasingly sick poacher. in the end of election night late that night i realized that i did want to tell the story, i had spent a year already trying to figure out barack obama and i thought his store was amazing in so many ways and it was something that i was obsessed with. i tried to only write books about things that obsess me. the story was not his presidency or even his politics. it was two things. the first was the utter randomness of his very being. the world that created him fascinated me. i saw in his story a way to write about the modern world and so many different ways. the second part that obsess me
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was, okay, given his circumstances, given the contradictions that life through him as a biracial kid born in hawaii, how did he figure himself out? how did he recreate himself? and that is what this book is about. some people come to its thinking that if they are going to read a traditional biography that starts the day he was born. that was not what i ever intended. it is a book about the world that created barack obama and how he recreated himself. and i was hoping that through that people would learn lessons about him and why he is the way he is which is really what i always try to do in all my books, explain the forces that shaped someone. my mantra as a journalist is always been go there, wherever there is. for my book on vince lombardi,
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turning to my wonderful wife in 1996 and uttering the immortal, loving words, how would you like to move to green bay for the winter? [laughter] she did, and it was only by living up there in green bay and in during the winter and being in a company town where you understood that the packers were everything, not the only thing. after a week she said she felt out of uniform and had to go buy a green and gold sweatshirt. everything about her was essential to that, and i have been making it up to her ever since. of course, a lot easier to say, how would you like to go to san juan for the winter to as teddy roberto clemente were jerome for many weeks to study the rome olympics, but this book about barack, is the one that took us on a journey unlike any i have endured before. we traveled more than
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60,000 miles around the world to kenya and indonesia, many times to ally, kan., and then los angeles, chicago, new york, sort of the stages of across a bar barack obama's life and the life of his family. going to kenya for the first time was a truly amazing experience and started beyond the way of understanding the cycles of the obama family's life. and in piercing some of the mythologies that have been built up around him, which was part of the sickness of the american culture today, the wrongheaded mythologies about him. but we, of course, arrived in nairobi and took this amazing seven hour drive from the
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capital of skynyrd all the way out to the shores of lake victoria, a drive that i will never forget partly because i was not sure that we would survive it. all along the way there were, of course, cattle and sheep and people along the sides of the road, but also corrupt policeman who every 50 miles or so with throw down his long boards full of nails try to stop people to collect bribes. that was countered by the incredible beauty of this drive, going from nairobi through the central province into the rift valley, the oldest -- the valley , this course is drop into the valley and then down past that to the that season of tea plantation and then on lower into the marsh land that heat around like victoria which is where the blue our tribe, the tribe for which the obama's come check is centered.
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there are several interesting aspects to that part of the story that i can only learn by being there. what is there is a tendency on the part of people who will don't want to accept president obama for various reasons to think of him as some kind of an alien or stranger. i get to that part of his story later. ..
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as you have all heard, some people say that he is a secret muslim. it is a idea that has no grounding in fact. the reality is something far more interesting. it is the unwitting aspects of history. as i have discovered all through my study in kenya, it was conservative evangelical christians from the united states who made the rise of the obama's possible every step of the way. that muslims, in fact, had nothing to do with it. it was seventh-day adventists came out to the shores of lake
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victoria at the turn of the 20th century and started setting up a school in which president obama's grandfather learned english and became westernized. it was a missionary school in bassano, where barack obama senior, the president's father, was tutored and trained and westernized. a fascinating american woman named betty moody, whose grandfather was the founder of texas christian university who rise in the late 1950s to spread literacy and the gospel, who essentially and praise for obama senior and mentored him and made it possible for him to come to the united states. betty, and her teaching of
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literacy was translating for literacy books into various tribal languages in kenya, and she hired barack obama senior to do the translations for that book. she then encouraged him to come to the united states to study. she helped to pave his way here or there was in her office is that she and barack obama senior were leafing through an old copy of look magazine and saw this article about the university of hawaii. they had beauty queens us several different nationalities. there were the early stages of the civil rights movement and the difficulties that an african might have in the united states.
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and it was really because of reading that story and because of betty and one other figure, and amazing canyon who was also a leading figure in kenya who was connected to the west and who was trying to build a new nation working to the independence of kenya and really helped to sponsor an organized the first wave of kenyans come to the united states in 1959. to be trained and educated in order that they might work towards independence, which would come a few years later. the other side of the story, the white side of the story is really one of classic american searching. it begins in kansas on thanksgiving night of 1926 when a woman named ruth armour dunham
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committed suicide in topeka, kansas. she left behind two sons. stanley was eight years old. he was the grandfather of president obama. he moved into a small town in kansas where his grandparents lived, el dorado, kansas. the first iteration of people in that generation of people living with her grandparents. he also, when he got to el dorado, was living not only with his grandparents, but his great grandfather, a man named mr. columbus fark. it is amazing to think about this aspect of that relationship. stanley dunham is living with christopher columbus fark, his great-grandfather, who fought in the civil war or the north for the missouri militia. at a very early age.
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that same stanley dunham will grow up to be the grandfather of the first african-american president of the united states. that sweep of history was really connected by one man. stanley dunham, and so many other ways, was called a combination man. he's a fast talker, he dropped out of high school. when he came back to kansas after his first trip, he said that he was a writer out in california he had befriended a couple of good writers and had all of these writings in his trunk that he brought back with him. that was profoundly impressionable on a young woman who grew up in augusta, kansas.
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her name was madeleine kane. she did not want to be trapped in a small town. yearnings to be sophisticated and just out of small-town kansas. her heroine was bette davis and should go to the theater in investor kansas and watch bette davis on the screen and wanted to model that sense of sophistication. she started smoking with a cigarette holder and changing the way her vocabulary and even her diction sounded. so she ran across the sky that was building a new oil plant in augusta and stanley dunham who claims that he had been to california at williams sorority. she fell head over heels for am. he very quickly had a daughter.
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this is a typically sexist father who wanted a boy and a post- stanley on his daughter. it is a story that even the president thought was true, it was the mother who gave stanley that name and it is because of bette davis. in 1942 a few months before she was born, she was in a movie in which she played a woman named stanley. that is where it came from. stanley dunham, the father, was constantly searching from that point on. they took the family to oklahoma in fact, to texas and back, to mercer island, where the
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daughter went to junior high and high school, and finally come out to hawaii. they arrived in 1960, one-year after barack obama senior had arrived in hawaii. and they met in a russian class and very quickly thereafter was one president obama. another part of the mythology is that obama -- president obama's illegitimate president because he wasn't born in the united states. if there are, here is the conspiracy that would've had to exist for that to be true. the conspiracy would've had to involve the local newspapers, which ran the birth announcement of barack obama junior. he would have had to involve the immigration and naturalization service, which was tracking obama senior, week by week for that entire period.
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because he was in the united states on a student visa and the ayanna didn't like him. they thought he was a womanizer, which he was, and also they thought he was a bigamist, which he was. he had been married a couple of years earlier in kenya and had not gotten a divorce. so when he married stanley dunham, by american standards, he was a bigamist. he claims that in his culture, he could just announce his former wife and say he was no longer married to her. and that amounted to a divorce. the third element of conspiracy would involve the doctors and nurses at the medical center. the week of barack obama junior was born, barack obama the second was born on august 4, 1961. the word went around that we
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about something peculiar that had happened. a journalist took out one of the better-known doctors in honolulu and said anything interesting happen to you this week. he said at our hospital, stanley had a baby. [laughter] nurses and doctors remember it. and they remembered it and i act on them and talk to them about it. [laughter] [laughter] in any case, here is born barack obama, president obama. biracial, kenyan father and white mother. in hawaii. in one sense, you might say that that is the luckiest place in the united states he could have been born. hawaii is a multiracial place
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full of water called half-and-half, the native term. japanese, chinese, hawaiian, anglo, everybody is some form of that. one of barack obama's friends in high school, his friend was tom told -- he was actually chinese. he was born african american by birth. very few there were connected to the military bases in honolulu. in one sense, from the day he was born, he had to deal with racial america, but in another sense he had no cultural acclamation to that. he was living with his mother and his grandparents at various
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points in his life from that point, for the next 20 years of his life, really, is a search for self identity, which is the second half of my book. how he figured himself out. he is only six years old when his mother, after divorcing barack obama senior, with whom she never really lived, false in love with an indonesian. barack obama arrives in jakarta. in jakarta, indonesia. it was only when i wait to jakarta with something that was incredibly obvious, washed over me in a more profound way. barack obama was not into protective cocoon of being a diplomats kid, going to the international school. he was completely immersed in that culture. and it was only when i was in the neighborhood where he lived
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when i arrived and walked through the narrow alleyways and heard the street vendors and saw the children playing in the street and went to the local school, he thought about this six-year-old kid, very, as he was called. as a matter of fact, in indonesia, he was very thorough. he took the last name of his stepfather to make life a little easier for him. so there he is, does six-year-old kid in jakarta, sinking or swimming, learning the local language in indonesia, going to the local school, playing with the local kids. what an incredible -- whatever your politics are, to think about the incredible journey from age six years old to president obama in washington
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and the white house. his mother sent him back to live with his grandparents when he was tender soul. she had been waking up at five in the morning to homeschool him along with the learning and the local schools, and by the way, the other element of that myth is that when he was in indonesia, it's complete garbage. he went to school -- to schools in jakarta. the first one was a catholic school and the second one was the most prestigious of the local public schools where because indonesia is 80% muslim and sort of hazardous interesting tradition where the muslims came late, before that there were layers of hindu and buddhist in indonesia, because of the muslim dominance, old
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teacher had a religion every week and obama had to go to that. but there was a central invocation of that school that had nothing to do with that. it was the nationalist notions that were conceived by the first independent readers of indonesia, no great shakes, these dictators, but they were trying to bring together the incredible diversity of indonesia and a notion which embraced all of the cultures and all of the religions and the actual funnel fundamentalist muslims, they actually hated that. they thought it was too abrasive. that is what obama was learning them. a measure of diversity and was no way it being inculcated as a muslim. so at age 10 he leaves to go back to honolulu. he is lucky that his grandparents both worked for
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influential figures. his grandmother worked at a bank, his dad at an insurance company, and the president to both of those companies were the board of directors of the elite school and barack obama tested well and got into that school. but from that point, age 10 and up, essentially, he was trying to figure out where my remark this biracial kid, african-american by the imposition of society and trying to make his way. in high school you saw absolutely no notion that he would someday be president obama. i compare him in that sense with the other president that i have written about, bill clinton. bill clinton was running for president from the day he was born. [laughter] when he was in high school, he
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ran for every office possible, so much so that when he was a senior, his principal came and said we are sick of you. you dominate everything. you can't run for vice president. so he said, okay, i will run for press secretary. which in that era was a sexist physician, clinton ran against his girlfriend. [laughter] she beat him. [laughter] he wouldn't talk to her for weeks. then, of course come he got to georgetown university and he was the sophomore class president and in his junior year he ran a senior president and got beat again because his peers were absolutely sick of them. you see, none of that was very obama. in high school, he was a smart kid, his teachers like him, he did not exert himself much. he basically played basketball
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and smoke dope. that was about it. he didn't show any of the political side whatsoever. he finally got off the island at age 17. he started his college career. that is really where you see this long, 10 year arc toward home. it starts in los angeles he feels a spark for the first time. not quite sure where it will take them, but he started to talk about his sense of destiny. his mother, the amazing stanley dunham, with would constantly tell him that you are special. you are here for a reason. you have all of this and you can't just be a regular old charlie. he started to think about what his purpose was. but after two years in los angeles, it is too much like the prep school he went to. it was upper middle class, it was some mosh, it was easy. he wanted to get closer to the
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grid of america. and he transferred to columbia. and he was in the class with my editor. he was actually in new york for four years, to me, it is one of the most important, misunderstood, four years of his life. because even though he came to new york, essentially to be closer to the heart of african-american americans, he became essentially an interview content in sjoberg he was reading and studying and trying to carry himself out. he wrote in his journal that he wrote letters. there is one letter that i thought that he wrote to a girlfriend that he talked about
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how a lot of his friends, the new people he was meeting at columbia, they all seem to be sort of finding their niche in the world. they were going to the business world or some other world, starting to associate a narrow niche of life. and he wrote to his girlfriend in a sense, in a sense, i envy them. i know that for my life have meaning, i can't accept that narrow niche. i have to try to increase at all. that letter, was the first iteration of the speech he gave in boston in 2004, that notion of him representing the diversity of his world and of america. that was his reason for being. he spent four years in new york
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after graduating from columbia. he wanted to follow his mother into some form of public service of community organizing, when he graduated from columbia in 1983, he applied for a job. harold washington had been elected the first african-american mayor of chicago. barack obama just graduated from columbia. being utterly naïve, he applied for a job in the washington government, not realizing that you don't do that in chicago. he did not get hired. he spent another two years in new york. finally, in 1985, a group at the southside of chicago was trying to organize the steelworkers. they were pretty successful in organizing white areas in the south suburbs of chicago, trying to make inroads.
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he needed somebody to do that organizing work and they hired barack obama. he came to chicago in 1985. three people arrived in that city, which is kind of the start of it all. the first was oprah winfrey, the second was michael jordan, and the third was barack obama. he became world-famous within a few months. barack obama was utterly anonymous and unknown, except as an at the university of chicago. but the early years in chicago, three years of the community organizing, it is what really set barack obama and adds to the rest of his life.
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his whole adult life, from the time he left honolulu, i consider an arc towards his home. he really didn't have a home. his mother, for much of his teenage years was in indonesia while he was in honolulu. his father gave him a not very pleasant experience. he was living with his grandparents, but they could not really provide everything to him. stanley dunham, the bette davis want to be turned into the barack of the family and really supported everybody. from the time that berry was born. but nonetheless, he was searching for a real place in the world and he got to chicago in two things happened. first of all, in his job as a community organizing on the far side of chicago, he was embraced
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by this group of middle-aged black women just build him up with the love of their lives and it was something that you never really felt before. it was something that sort of overwhelmed him in a positive way, that he was feeling the sensation for the first time in his life, a personal sense of home, knowing that's where it would be. secondly, as a community organizer, you lose 95% of the time and you keep pounding away at the powers that be. barack obama, during the whole period, he was intently studying pallor and how one could use it to effect change. and he was watching harold washington for the first part of that and realize that for him to get where he wanted to go, he had to get into electoral politics and he could only do so much as a community organizer.
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it was then when he made that realization that he applied to harvard law school and he went to kenya for the first time to trace his african roots. that is really where i end the story. this first volume of my story of barack obama. as he was leaving chicago after being in kenya and heading up toward harvard law school. the old blue honda civic was gone. he had sold it for departing for europe and africa. now he had another car, it used yellow dots and the cost $500. they were holes in the floorboard, but the engine was good enough to get him to where he had to go. no life could've could have been the product of randomness than his. from the heritage of hussein and ruth armour dunham and a chance meeting of students in honolulu, from the chaos of prophetic ancestors, from a childhood in
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distant hawaii and more distant indonesia, and the feelings of outsiders of by by racial and cross-cultural kids, he tried to make sense of his life. from all back, he found not only a home, but a path. he was driving hard towards harvard law school. a stop to his family's unimaginable destination. thank you very much. [applause] [applause]
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it is time to take a few questions, which i'm happy to do, yes, sir to . >> in your book on president clinton, there are enough juicy parts that you must of had fun doing the above. did you have any fun doing this one? >> it was fun to find his girlfriend. [laughter] so, i will tell you one story, people make too much of this but in his memoir he writes about i love the girl in new york. but any journalists in the united states who read that in his book, who is a? i know that i couldn't write this book without finding her. it took me about 2.5 years. at first, i didn't have anything to go on. finally, one of his friends said that he had a letter, an envelope in which another friend had written oh, by the way, berry broke up with genevieve, so i had a lead.
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for a year and a half, we put every possible permutation in new york for genevieve, and kept going over it and over it again until finally i found a wedding announcement in "the new york times" that ring a bell with me. because it mentioned a genevieve's parents were australian and one said that he thought his girlfriend had an australian accent, who had been married in a posh part of northwest connecticut and in obama's memoir, he writes about going to this place in new england that sounded a little bit like that. and had also lived in indonesia and had been divorced. but everything, all of those things, australia, indonesia, connecticut, they all ring bells. then there was a search to try to find the woman of that name.
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and i went into court records and found that she changed her name again. she had been divorced and remarried. we found a telephone number many thousands of way. i had just gotten back from overseas at two in the morning and i placed a call. i asked this was genevieve and she said yes, how did you ever find me? [laughter] and i proceeded to tell her, and then i was talking and she was googling me at the same time. after 15 minutes, i knew that this would work. because she was kind of new age. for some reason, new age women like me because i'm kind of socks. soft. anyway, the relationship evolved from there. and she was incredibly forthcoming. i was totally straightforward with her. my policy always is no surprises. i let people know exactly what
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we're doing at all times. after about three weeks, she had read more about me and an interview with me where i was describing another book i did on vietnam and the battle and i said how memories of a battle are not really one thing, but you have to balance those with primary documents, genevieve wrote to me, dear, david, i read your interview about the primary documents, and by the way, i kept a journal. that is where it all came from. >> i wonder if you could save more about barack obama and community organizing. you recognize that this is the need for him to get electoral power and make real changes. but there must've been other lessons. >> many lessons from community organizers. one of the ironic things about barack obama is that he was not a classic community organizer.
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his mentors were frustrated by him because he would not confront enough. but that is his style. i say about barack obama, some people on the left, liberals, tend to misinterpret his actions and they say why isn't he doing more and terrifying things in fighting harder. my sense of barack obama is he is always trying to look 2 cents on 10 steps ahead. that is what you were doing as a community organizer and president. the trap of being bored at 101 on an island and being biracial. that's what he was doing as a community organizer, too. infuse him. he learned the value of grassroots organization, which use in his campaign, and it got him, you know, he's not an
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extrovert in the classic sense, but when he was in school, he would walk in any house and talk to anybody. that is something that is of value to someone who is a leader of the country. [applause] >> yes, sir. could you please comment on the movie, by dinesh d'souza, 2016? >> that movie is other garbage from beginning to end. [applause] it is a classic example of why i didn't want to write this book for why i am glad that i did. there is a lot of misinformation out there. the notion that barack obama is infused by this anti-colonial -- even if he were, what was so great about colonialism?
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[laughter] but secondly, it is not only a misunderstanding of him and the way that the right wing has taken shards of facts and twisted it into a concurrency is really twisted. [applause] thank you. >> can you briefly go over the book and how you think that was significant to obama? >> it is a very different book. barack obama in new york felt like he was the invisible man. he was seeing the world and i think that was, along with the way of him getting to understand american culture more deeply through, and barack obama in those years was thinking that maybe he would be a novelist.
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so even on a literary level, it was important to him. deeply helping him understand the depth of the history of african-americans in their existence in this country and the way that they can see the world that the world cannot see them. i think that's what he was dealing with. yes, sir? >> you mentioned that president obama used cannabis in hawaii. apparently he learned to inhale. did he ever learn to accept? >> well, you know, a story about bill clinton that he never inhaled -- he was asthmatic, and he thought he never did. but he ate a lot of hashish brownies instead. [laughter] barack obama, i mean, i have more detaild, a group of guys who smoke dope at porter hall. yes, he inhaled and exhaled and
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everything else. >> when will we were somebody write a biography of stanley dunham? she must've been a remarkable woman. >> jenni scott, who works at "the new york times" did write that biography. she is an incredible woman. she is in my book a lot. i deal with her quite a bit. >> yes, sir? [inaudible question] >> would he make of this? >> hatred and racism. [applause] thank you very much. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> bob woodward will be discussing his new book next, the price of politics. we have a lot of people who are standing. if you have an empty chair, let's get as many people seated as we can. thank you so much for being here. and please enjoy the rest of the afternoon. >> can see there that david maraniss, standing with bob woodward, the executive editor of the "washington post", marcus brockway, this is live coverage of booktv on c-span2 of the 2012 national book festival. bob woodward will be starting in
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just a few minutes, and of course, we will be live with that as well full afternoon of coverage from the national mall here here in washington dc. go to booktv.org. you can find the full schedule and you can also watch a webcast. down here on the mall. booktv.org, get the full schedules and you can watch the webcast week we can stick with us here on c-span2. jason gorman, one of our colleagues at booktv has been out and about, talking with people. we are going to show you a couple of those quick interviews. different people that are here attending the festival. and we also spoke with one of the major benefactors of the national book festival. here are those interviews. >> we are outside of the pavilion. >> my name is rachel lam.
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i go to the university of maryland. >> i also go to the university of maryland. >> is there anything that made you want to buy the book? >> yes, we were already interested in his nine books. >> we are really interested in hearing the affordable care act of the supreme court. >> with the books, what was your opinion? >> i am interested in reading a great piece of fiction. we like the daily light. lots of different elements. >> i recently read about the fall of the berlin wall and communism in eastern europe. and that was a really fascinating read as well. >> are there any books that you guys have read that it had an
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ability to inspire you in some way or impact your life? >> yes, i have recently read one of the best books i've ever read. >> some books i've read have been very interesting. they make me think a lot about government and the economy and how the interplay. i really enjoyed that one. >> standing outside the book signing area,, hello my name is daniel coburn and i am from baltimore, maryland. >> it was fantastic. he has a really top talent. >> it was a book you wanted to read before you came today? >> i actually read it before i came today and he has a new book out that i will be taking up when i get home. >> any other books that do you recommend as well? >> in general, i just finished up the king of gang of thrones
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book. very entertaining to read. >> with you currently reading now? >> well, i'm going to be picking up the oath. >> here at the 12th annual national book festival on the national mall in washington dc, we are joined by david rubenstein, cochair of the carlyle group and a benefactor of the national book festival. mr. rubin side, with your connection? >> i have been involved with the library of congress for a while. i agreed to put up $5 million to help get funded for the next five years. and so that was my initial contact. subsequently, i provided additional money so it could be a two-day affair. originally it was a one-day event. today is the second day, it's a sunday. that is my connection. >> any conditions on the money for operating expenses? >> we wanted to make it the best
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festival possible. jim dillinger made it a national event. it was an idea that she had from texas. jim ran with the idea, didn't get as much funding as people would have liked, but it was so great. >> i understand you are presenting an award today? >> yes, i am presenting awards to students that have written about books that they have read. >> when it comes to book festivals, nationwide, there are book festivals. are you supporting any others? >> this was the best thing for me to support. there is a book festival in every country and state, and i think it's a good thing. the more that people read, the better off the country and the world is. >> what you currently reading? >> i read six or seven books week, frequently fiction and biography and history as well. matt finally, what is the carlyle group?
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>> a privately held equity firm based in washington dc. we try to buy companies and improve them and get returns to investors. >> david rubenstein, one of the benefactors at the national book festival and cochair of the carlyle group. >> we are back live on the national mall in washington dc for the 12th annual national book festival. coming up in just a minute, the history and biography tent. bob woodward, his newest book just came out last week. "the price of politics." he will be talking with the crowds live. we are going to go there now and do a full afternoon of coverage from the history and biography
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tent. a couple of colin opportunities later in the afternoon. you can join us and find the full schedule at booktv.org. now, back to the history and biography tent. the map ♪ tomoko ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ >> please be seated, we are ready to start. >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, my name is tom sherwood. [applause] thank you very much. i host a weekly show at noon on our local radio. a couple of briefings before we
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start. we are going to be taped by c-span and labor congress, if you don't want to be taped, please leave. [laughter] also, please be mindful and turn off your darn cell phones. [laughter] has everyone done that for the last speaker? okay, great. i think that commits all the legal things that i have to say. good afternoon, you are in for each feed. bob woodward does not just right for the "washington post." those of us who know him, he is the "washington post." i am proud to say that for a brief time in the 1980s, he was my editor. the only story he edited this one that i did, and i got sued for $30 million. i am glad to say that we won that case. bob woodward has one nearly every american journalism award one could have.
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bob schaffer said of him that woodward had established himself as the best reporter of our time. he may be the best reporter of all time. from watergate in 1972 to high-level politics of today, he has been on the case, telling us not miss what we want to know, but what we need now. he is disarmingly polite. if he asks you a question, don't answer it. you will find yourself telling him everything that he knows and everything that your mother-in-law knows. he has co-authored more than a dozen books and he has been the number one best-selling nonfiction article for quite a while. his new role is how leaders clashed over the american economy. it clashed that is affecting us today. ladies and gentlemen, bob woodward. [applause]
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>> thank you. thanks. it's great to be here. i'm going to put myself on the clock so i don't talk too long, and then we have lots of times the questions. and i want to begin by recounting something that occurred about five or six years ago my wife and i were at an aging conference and how to deal with aging. how many people are interested in the subject of aging? raise your hand. okay, you all are. i tell you. at age 69, i am deeply interested in the subject of aging. and they have psychiatrists and physicians and so forth on this panel. james watson, who was the codiscoverer of dna, the nobel
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prize winner was also on the panel. we had the discussion and it went on for an hour, and watson said nothing. that is the end of zero comments. now, you know the power of silence was just overwhelming, and so finally, the moderator, charlie rose asked him, doctor watson, you have done so much work, how do you deal with aging. and so he leaned into the microphone and he said there is only one way to deal with aging. and that is to stay away from old people. [laughter] he nailed it. my wife and i were sitting behind doctor henry kissinger, who was in the audience.
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they handed out his little sheets where you did self scoring. self scoring on your lifestyle. how often do you eat red meat, how many bowel movements you have a weak. [laughter] general health questions. then you have points or you lost points and you added it up, and it told you how many years you had to live. now, how many people here want to know how many years you have to live? the skeptical as him as that might rightly be about the scoring sheet, it's very interesting. kissinger was filling this out with all the intensity hunched over and so elsa and i availed ourselves of the reporter's freedom of information act. [laughter] and we looked over his shoulder.
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we wanted to see how many years he had to live. he added it all up, and it turned out that he died four years ago. [laughter] not happy. i have seen kissinger really unhappy because of things we have written. but this was the depth of unhappiness. and so he looked around, and this was done in pencil. he erased all the answers. he rescored. the last time he ate red meat was in 1949. how often do you exercise a week, seven, eight, nine, 10 times a week. and it turned out that he had eight years to live. what is the lesson here? kissinger is the master of this, read his books, he resource
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history like no one else. but it is the basic problem in journalism and trying to understand politics and what is going on in the world. i was telling this story the other night about al gore, having dinner with him, sitting next to him, not having dinner, sitting next to al gore is taxing. it is really unpleasant. we asked him what was going on in the white house and he said 1%. i believe it is higher. but if we step back, we often don't know what is going on. that is the dilemma. i want to talk briefly and then answer questions about her new
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book that i have done, which is just out, called the price of politics. it is about 3.5 years of negotiations between the obama white house and the republicans in congress and the democrats. how they essentially tried to bring the federal government's financial house to some kind of order. the answer is they failed. we have a federal government whose financial house is in total disorder, total disarray. it is a historic problem. to try to put it in english, we have a trillion dollars of iou outstanding in the world. the negotiations, they agreed to
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raise what they call the debt ceiling, so the government can borrow a couple more trillion dollars. we are going to run it run out of that borrowing authority january or february of next year. they're going to have to go back and authorized congress for more trillions of dollars of borrowing. the republicans and lots of people in congress don't want to authorize that. so there is going to be a bloody negotiation, unless they can work a deal. in a sense, this is a book about the past, but it's about the present. it is about where we are going and what the country's future is. if you think about it i would argue that the inability of the government to fix this borrowing debt deficit issue in the book,
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vice president biden's chief of staff, talking about the economic crisis in 2011, that's exactly what is going on. there is so much evidence that it is the biggest future. we are on the path becoming europe and greece. you just can't keep borrowing money. there is a stunning and fiction in this country, and we need some sort of we need some serious intervention. in the book, what i attempt to do is take people to the presidents and leaders and tell
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you exactly because of the luxury of time and my publisher, simon & schuster, i declined to get the meeting notes to get the exact detail to interview president obama and speaker boehner and the key players in this. i just want to take one quick snapshot from what happened that we didn't know about, which is critical. when the cops pull up less when the president was upset, he called the congressional leaders on a saturday morning at 11:00 o'clock a.m. the democratic and republican leaders were trying to work out their own deal.
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harry reid, the democratic leader, said to the president, mr. president, could you please leave the room? i have covered presidents for four years. i know of no other time where the president was asked the meeting in his own house that he had called. i asked the president about this. i said how did it feel to be voted off the island in your own house. because that is what happened. he said that he was not going to stand on protocol, that the problem needed to be solved. but in the next day, he called democratic leaders to the white house from 6:00 o'clock on a sunday night. and harry reid is there, the house leader, the relations between and among the democrats
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are so not solved, that harry reid, is a chief of staff, makes a presentation on the deal if reid is trying to work out with the republicans. in the course of doing that, david corn says to the president of the united states, in the oval office is in his house, i am disappointed in this white house and you for not having a fallback plan. literally, again. somebody reading of the president in the oval office for not having a plan. after the meeting, harry reid said to his chief of staff, stood up to him, he needed to hear it. no one was telling him. think about it for a moment. what is the second most powerful democrat in washington have to use his chief of staff as a lever to send a message to the
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president of the united states? i was talking to somebody from amazon.com the other day. as you may know, they take books and they divide them as red states and blue states. most of the books selling in red states, republican state, blue state, democratic states, and i have said, where does this football? where is it to and he said well, it's purple. because it has information about both sides in all of us. it shows that there is a war going on, not just in the democratic party, but the republican perhaps much more intense. john boehner is trying to work a deal with the president to do tax reform and entitlement reform and his deputy, the majority leader, calls people like paul ryan, who is now
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running for vice president. .. >> if you keep doing this, you are going to risk your speakership. the president said when i talked to him, interestingly enough, he said in fixing -- he realizes the magnitude of all of this, as does speaker boehner, key democrats, key republicans realize what it is. and the president literally said to me, i would willingly lose an
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election if i could solve these problems. it is that serious. tim geithner, the treasury secretary, in the book is quoted thousands of words telling the president, you have got to do something about this problem. we have to fix it. you literally, it's not that we're going to close down the government, we will close down the american economy and, in turn, the global economy. if they do not solve the issue of this runaway spending, get some way to stop borrowing in excess, he tells the president of the united states if we default on this, on our obligations and our ious, we will trigger a depression worse than the 1930s. anybody here remember the 19
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1930s depression? you probably don't. i don't. i was not born, but i've read about it. it was a calamity for the world. tim geithner said to the president what, if we default on this, if we do not solve this problem, we will have an economic catastrophe that will make the 2008 financial crisis a footnote in the history books. anyone remember the 2008 financial crisis? that's coming not from some columnist or journalist, that is coming from well-informed secretary of the treasury. you think about this, there is a value in running scared. if you think about after 9/11,
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the terrorist attacks, one thing the country did collectively is they set up tsa, the screening at airports. there are all kinds of work, very significant work done to make sure terrorists did not get into this country. it's been successful to date. it is one of an amazing achievement. if you think about september 12, 2001, the day after 9/11, it was almost a certainty there were going to be terrorist attacks in this country. there are not been. hundreds of billions of dollars have been thrown at it, all kinds of intelligence efforts, screening efforts, thinking efforts, some of them perhaps extreme, but it worked. this was a time when the government and it leaders in both parties ran scared.
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they are not running scared on this issue. and if you look at it, it is the thing we know about that is going to do us in. and we've got to fix it. and go for a moment to the presidential campaign going on before us. what are they talking about? not this. not the ting that's most evident -- not the thing that's most evident. why are they not talking about it? part of it i would say it's the responsibility of the people in my business, the media. the candidates are not being asked about it enough. it's also complicated. um, it's also something the candidates if you look at what they have said on this issue, both obama and romney's plans are vague. if i were moderating the debate that is coming october 3rd, i would spend about half of it asking them what would you do
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specifically. give us the diagnosis of the plan -- [applause] and tell us what you're really going to do. and part of that question is there has to be a willingness to compromise, and there has to be an innate willingness to do things that are painful for your side. i'm going to stop there, and we'll do questions. one more story. remember years ago the head of simon & schuster after i had published one of my books took me to dinner in new york city at one of these restaurants where you would never want to go where you have to pay. [laughter] and he said what's your next book going to be about in and i said, oh, well, i haven't decided. i'm going to do some thinking, some reading, some research. and he looked at me and said, what? i said, yeah, i want to do
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thinking, reading, reporting, weighing the alternatives, and he said why are you going to waste your time? [laughter] i said, well, that's what you try to do. and he said, no, no, no, you are one of our authors. i need to know right now, tonight, what your next book is going to be. i said this is, that's preposterous. he said, i need to know. now, he's one of these people who grinds on you, and you're at dipper alone no matter what would come up, he would bring the subject back to, oh, maybe you should do a book on that, what about this? he would just grind away. you may know people like this. [laughter] you may work for somebody like that. [laughter] even better, you may be married to somebody like that. [laughter] who just grinds away. so he wouldn't let up. so finally at the end i said to him, i figured out what my next book is going to be. he said, oh, that's great. he said, what? i said, my next book will be an
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expose of the publishing business in new york city. [laughter] and instead of showing disappointment, he said that's a terrific idea. i have a great title for you. i said, i don't think there are any great titles left. he said, there's one. i said, what? he said, your book, an expose on the publishing business in new york city would be called "my last book." [laughter] and he meant it. [laughter] [applause] okay. questions. open microphone. go ahead, sir. >> yeah, hi, bob. i want to ask you something that's alluding to the off-the-line comment you said on al gore. you know that you've been studying the white house 40 years, and you know people all have their own perspective, they all want to be saying things. and if you're the president, you have to listen to all these people. over your 40 years, how did the presidents react, and which ones
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really did a good job listening and making decisions? >> yeah, that's a great question. i mean, in journalism the great art, and it's hard, is to really listen. and the key to getting people to talk is to take them as serious a. [applause] atake themselves. -- seriously as they take themselves. that's one comment feature. president, most people in government, they take themselves seriously. you find increasingly with all the presidents i've tried to understand that the more time they get in office, the more they like to talk and the less they like to listen. and that's a problem. and i was reading the george cannon biography, one of the great books. he's the diplomat who really established the containment policy. and at one point cannon writes
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in his diary when they've made him ambassador to yugoslavia, he says there is a treacherous curtain of deference that falls on you as the boss. happens to everyone. but it happens ten times to presidents, that treacherous curtain of deference. and everyone is, oh, mr. president, mr. president. and what a president, like any leader needs, is somebody who will tell him the truth. >> this upcoming election and before the inauguration has been described as a period of time that's going to be the lame duck session of all lame ducks. and i wanted to ask you the same question that you would ask the candidates which would be something like we're about, we're approaching a fiscal cliff, and this is all going to the happen shortly after or just
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prior to the inauguration or some time in january. what, what is the, what do you see or what do you predict or what needs to be done to avoid this fiscal cliff? >> okay. happily, i don't have to decide. [laughter] and i don't know. but, i mean, the fiscal cliff is a euphemism. i mean, it's financial. it's the basic financial soundness of the government which connects, believe me, to the value of everything you have, a house, a bank account, an investment and so forth. and it is all in jeopardy. it should be called the financial time bomb. and it's tax increases, it's spending cuts, but it's also what i spent a lot of time in the price of politics writing about where you have to extend the debt ceiling. they, the white house, whoever is there, is going to have to go to the congress and say, gee, you know what?
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we're borrowing a trillion dollars. i mean, think about, i was trying to figure somebody was asking, well, how much is a trillion dollars? that's about $3,000 for everyone in the united states. that's a lot of money. they have to borrow that next year just to pay for what's going on. and how they're going to do that, how they arrange it, i don't know. it's going to be, you know, i may have my second book. go ahead. >> hi. in your interviews and in your research, i was wondering how much you came across discussions among the leadership about dealing with the serious problem of jobs in this country. because we're in a second major depression many say since the great -- and it's sort of contrary or contradictory to be concerned about the budget deficit where you'd be taking steps that have a negative
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effect on the economy, so how much did that take effect -- >> excellent question. and, of course, you create jobs by growing the economy, and you have to not only grow the economy, you need to stable i'd it -- stabilize it. you can't have the situation we're in where the interest rates are right in the basement. and as someone says, you can't jump out of the basement. that's as low as it is. and if people stop trusting u.s. treasuries, the $16 trillion of debt we have out there, interest rates are going to skyrocket, interest payments will go up annually potentially by hundreds of billions of dollars, then we would have more deficit, there would be less trust. and so you haven't -- you've wrecked the government's role in the economy. those are my secret notes, i'm going to ping -- pick them up. [laughter]
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so you have to stabilize that. and you have to figure out a way to get the economy grow. and that's a long-term proposition which will lead to more jobs. but you're right, there's some contradictions in all of this. but in trying to create more jobs, you can't mess up with the overall problem of the trustworthiness and creditworthiness. you're shaking your head. we'll talk afterwards. next. >> hi. over the course of your career, you've had the most incredible access to all these, um, great politicians in history and even today, and i was just wondering out of everyone you've met, who surprised you the most? who is like the least like how they are perceived in history and in the current media? >> oh, wow. that's like asking the question about the creation of the universe. [laughter] they're all interesting, they all have their -- i mean, i just
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get fascinated with the story of government and what really works and, quite frankly, what we don't know. what is hidden. i remember for a book i did called "the agenda" on bill clinton, and it was about his economic plan. i interviewed him once, and it was on background. but he's talked about it, so i have talked about it. and you go into to the oval office. this was early 1994, and clinton drills you with this eye contact that is absolutely a gravitational force. i've never seen anyone maintain eye contact like bill clinton. and to a -- and it's unblinking. and he just stares and, of course, it creates a sense of
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intimacy, it slows time down, and i remember thinking this eye contact is amazing, and somebody later suggested to me, said, well, he wanted to be president ever since he was 5. [laughter] and he decided to contribute all organs in the body to the task. [laughter] including the eyes. [laughter] and it's, you can drain yourself. you just don't -- you can train yourself, you just don't blink. so we're going through there, and i thought, oh, this is a great interview. and he's soocused. i each started thinking, oh -- i each started thinking, oh, he realizes how brilliant my questions are. [laughter] which they weren't. and i thought, left this if and thought, oh, there's this amazing interview. of and i went back and had
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somebody transcribe it, and i read the transcript without the eye contact, and it was mush. [laughter] he didn't say anything new, didn't say anything that was particularly useful. i think i used one sentence in the whole book from the interview. but, and here's the essence of the clinton communication style, it felt good. [laughter] it felt wonderful. [laughter] and if you look at the reagan tapes, when he was president, everyone called him the great communicator. he's a nothing compared to clinton. clinton, i remember interviewing -- there were, there was one meeting where about six or seven people were in the meeting with clinton, and i asked them each what happened, and there was this one woman who didn't say anything. and i said what'd you think of the meeting? and she said i know he agrees with me. [laughter]
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wow. i mean, that -- i mean, if you can go -- anyway. end of point. >> my question is a little bit simple. it seems to me that where we're at right now is almost at the end of the current monetary system. so my question is, how much talk has there been in your circles about ending the current monetary system, stopping the issuing of money at debt and perhaps going to a united states note instead of federal reserves note? >> well, that's a neck call economic issue. -- technical economic issue. you can't bail out on the $16 trillion in ious we have. you just can't. it would be the disaster and the calamity. i don't think, i don't think you can do this with a magic wand. i don't think -- i think the, if you go back to the 1980s, what reagan and tip o'neill did to save social security, they worked a deal where payroll tax went up, the most regressive tax
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in the history of this country, and they agreed to cut back on some benefits. and part of the deal was -- what's that noise? is gordon liddy out there somewhere? [laughter] you're too young to remember gordon liddy. [laughter] you -- o'neill and reagan. part of the deal was we're raising the tax, we're cutting some benefits, and so o'neill says to reagan, look, you go out and say whatever you want about what this deal is. and i won't contradict you. and i'm going to go out, and i'm going to say, describe the deal i want it described, and don't you contradict me. deal made, it's gone. no one, no one objected. it was voted through the congress. people who ran, i know a couple
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of senators who ran i think first in 1983 like john kerry. he said in his campaign the issue never came up because there was no clash. there was no conflict. part of the deal was, i mean, look, obama and speaker boehner would have a much harder time making a deal because they had problems in both of their parties as they say, but in talking about this with them if they'd had -- what's the word? -- courage to say let's make a deal and go out, get before the microphones and the cameras and say this is what it's going to be, and this is going to be painful, and we're going to ask all democrats and republicans to vote for it because we have to protect our financial future, because that's what it's about at the end. they essentially told me they
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thought it would work, that they could have done it. and, of course, they did not. yes. >> are bob, that's a good lead-in to my question. the grand bargain that came to the floor towards the end, the president put entitlements on the table. i don't recall the world unraveling from that notion. how real do you suppose that proposal was, and are we likely to revisit that in the spring? >> well, it gets into detail, and i have a whole chapter on this, and it has to do with six senators saying, gee, we can ask for more revenue, it included three more republicans. david plouffe, who's the president's political adviser, campaign manager in 2008, has tremendous influence in the obama white house. am i pointing the right direction? is the white house that way? is yes, okay. and he said, we've got to do something, we have to ask for more revenue. and one of clinton's -- one of
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obama's other advisers came this and said -- came in and said if you don't ask for more revenue, you will be part of the presidency, the weakest presidency in the history of mankind. i mean, imagine being in that situation, getting that advice from one of your aides. so the president picked up the phone and said we need more revenue. he insists it was an offer speaker boehner is equally insistent that it was a demand. i talked to him, talked to all the people. now, no one else was in the room, there's no secret tape recording of that phone conversation i know about. if anyone does, please, give me a call. [laughter] but why do that on the phone? you shouldn't do that on the phone. you should other people there so it's carefully, you know, i mean, it was changing or making a proposal at the end that set this off on a track.
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it is a very dramatic story, and it brings to the fore the issues that we're going to be dealing with in three or four months. yes. >> you may have already allude today this somewhat in answering a previous question, but, you know, congressional approval is at record lows, and people left, right, center, everywhere talk about how broken government is. and what are those things there your perspective that have broken it, and what are those things that if they were removed either individual or structural, um, that would help fix it? what's the path forward? >> you know, that's above my pay grade. [laughter] it's, it's enough of a task to try to find out what happened and so forth and to -- you do play in your own mind what should have happened, what could have happened. i mean, it's a pattern. it's gone on a long time. a lot of people, and there are books on this, there's analysis
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saying it's all the republicans' fault. there are books and analysis that it's all the the democrats' fault, it's all obama's fault. i'm purple on that question and in the book conclude that they both have responsibility for this. [applause] and it's a shame it's not part of the dialogue going on in the election. we're going to pay a price for this, and just, you know, the note on your blackberry that we talked about this september 23rd, and when the bridges start burning in or -- in four or five months, i was saying this to somebody. if you remember 9/11, in august of 2001, six weeks before 9/11, there was a top secret
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intelligence briefing given to president george w. bush. and the headline of that top secret briefing was, and we ran it in "the washington post" after it became a big issue, was bin laden determined to strike in u.s. now, think about that. you're the president of the united states, you get a top secret report saying bin laden determined to strike in the u.s. you should do something. well, we know not enough was done can. we know that the government across the board failed to do what was necessary on potential terrorism, and we had 9/11. i tell you the theme song, the big music in this book i've written that i've tried to present is u.s. economy about to
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falter. and it's a warning. and it's disappointing, to be honest with you, it's agonizing that it can't get into the dialogue because we have a presidential election six weeks ago -- six weeks from now in which whoever, whether's obama, romney, they're going to have to sit there, and this is what they're going to be spending your time on. yes, young man. >> hi. um, i just -- oh, 13. >> thank you. >> i just wanted to say, first of all, that i am right in the middle of the price of politics, i'm in the middle of chapter 20, so it's an incredible book, so thank you very much for writing it. >> i know lots of adults who can't read it. [laughter] >> thank you. so, um, my question is, um, i'm at the end of middle school, and
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i want to become a journalist when i grow up, so -- [applause] okay. so you have had an incredible career, and you're one of my idols, so i just wanted to ask you, um, any tips for young people like me who want to become a journalist and want to see the world? [applause] >> you've chosen, perhaps prematurely -- [laughter] a great career. i've often said if somebody came from another planet to the united states to spend a year and they went back to, say, mars and they said who are the people that have the best jobs in america, the interplanetary visitor would say, oh, the journalists. why? because as a journalist you get to make momentary entries into people's lives when they're interesting, and when they're boring, get out. [laughter] there's no other profession where -- if you're a lawyer,
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you're stuck with clients that may be boring. if you're a doctor, you're stuck with patients, it may be routine. in journalism the question every morning when you go to work or whenever it is, what's going on, what's going on that has meaning, and what don't we know about it? and so if you think about it, um, good luck. let me know when you're looking for a job. [laughter] [applause] what's interesting, he's telling -- the book is 40 chapters long, and he says he's halfway through on chapter 20. >> i'll challenge you. as a nurse practitioner, you get to be involved with people at the most important times of their life. [laughter] i love that job too. [applause] >> well said, well said. >> but my question is about the
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freedom of information act. and small-time people like me can't get the same information you can. so, for example, i represent my little citizen association, and i asked lincoln county for some information on where they're spending money in a certain area, and you they would chargee $850 to get that. and another time i asked they said, well, it would be about three or four thousand pages -- boxes, not pages of stuff, boxes of things. how as a small-time person who already has a full-time job, how do we work with the freedom of information act to get the information we want? >> okay. somebody from the library of congress, dr. billington, was asking me in the movie version of "all the president's men," the reporters go to the library of congress to look at what the white book, the white house has been checking out, and somebody said, gee, can you go to the library of congress and find out what other people have been
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checking out? and, of course, no. but how did we get somebody? we went to somebody, and it's in the movie, and we said, sorry, dr. billington, how about breaking the rules? how about helping us? we're not going to misuse this information. go to the people who have those documents and say, look, um, why don't you help me, give them to me. you've got them here, i'll get 'em xeroxed or something like that. and an appeal -- it's amazing. i, in fact, think that everyone in the united states is a secret sharer, believer in the first amendment. and appeal to conscience. if you can't get them to help you, call me, and i'll call them on your behalf, okay? [laughter] [applause]
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>> i'm sorry that we don't have time. >> yes. mail is woodwardb woodwardb@washpost.com. if anybody else has good information. last question, right? oh, i'm sorry. i'm over time. my god. yes, quick. >> one last question. >> hi, mr. woodward. big fan of your work. unlike the young man who just came before me, i still haven't had a chance to read your book, but i look forward to. it seems like a theme throughout this book is the sort of both sides do it, color purple, bipartisan thing. now, of course, politics is very much about having two different sides with admittedly, you know, different views of america and different policy solutions, going out into the public, presenting their views and then having the public decide through elections or through civil discourse what policy direction they want to take. so i'm interested in terms of the sort of access you've gotten to the democratic and republican leadership in your view of the debt ceiling debacle whether you found that one side or another
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side was more intransigent or much more stubborn to negotiation or concession than the other side. >> that's a great question, and i do put responsibilities on both sides, but i do say at the end that if you look at presidents reagan, presidents clinton, criticize them as you might in lots of areas, by and large on important national business they've worked their will. they found a way. and in this case obama did not find a way. the leader of this country is the president. and if things go well or not well, it's going to be that these things happened in the obama era, not the john boehner era. and presidents have to lead, and presidents have to learn how. and in this case we got up to the goal line. he didn't take it over the end, the finish line here. and so we live in a country --
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[applause] with those, where the maximum burden is on the president. but if you, when you, if you look at the book, you will see that dealing with the republicans is not really an easy thing. and as -- [applause] i left to value office, president obama said, you know, if bob dole or newt gingrich had been here, i would have been able to work a deal. thanks so much. [applause] ♪ [inaudible conversations]
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>> and our live coverage from the 12th annual national book festival in washington, d.c. continues. it's a beautiful afternoon in washington with huge crowds down here on the mall, as you can see, and we've got a couple more hours of coverage. you just saw bob woodward in the history can and biography tent talking about "the price of politics," his 19th book, and coming up at about 4:30 this afternoon eastern time, salty bedell smith -- sally bedell smith who has written a biography on the queen of england. she will be talking about her book, we'll cover that live. then booktv will join her live in the tent for a national call-in show. so you'll have a chance to talk with sally bedell smith. but in the meantime, here on our set on the mall, we are joined by the author of this book, "the
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quest," daniel yergin is the author. he won a pulitzer for his last book, "the prize." mr. yergin, thank you for being with us here on booktv. >> guest: it's great to be here. >> host: and we're trying something different this year, and we have a guest interviewer. and, now, we have an expert. if you've ever asked our "after words" show, we bring an expert along to interview an author, and we're pleased to be joined by steve mufson of "the washington post," the energy reporter. mr. mufson, it's your show -- by the way, you'll see the numbers up on the screen if you would like to talk with daniel yergin as the show goes on. mr. mufson. >> host: thanks, good to be here. good to be with dan since i've known him, knowing dan has been great, i'm covering energy again now for "the washington post," and there are very few people who, like dan, can really help
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frame a lot of the big issues in energy and who can tell the narrative of what's really happened. i think that's part of what makes him unusual. and also he has a sort of holistic approach. there are a lot of energy books out there. people often ask me what kind of book to read, and not that many of them are covering all the geopolitics in a broad way like dan is. but there are a couple of questions i wanted to ask. one, a kind of relatively simple one about the book because i know originally you were interested in history, and you wrote your first book was actually about the cold war. what kind of drew you into the energy issue and has kept you in the energy issue for 30 some odd years as opposed to doing something different? >> guest: i think what i discovered about energy is it includes everything. it goes from geopolitics to economics to technology, so it's an always-changing story, and it has this whole framework of tying all these different things together and then, as you said, trying to find the story to
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convey it. >> host: so one thing that interests me, and you were just talking about this in the other tent here at the festival is that you think of yourself as an optimist about the future of energy. that you believe that technology will solve a lot of problems about energy shortages and maybe there isn't the kind of energy shortage people often worry about. and i was just wondering whether, you know, if you could put that in some perspective. it seems to me sometimes there's a lot of talk now about energy independents about how the country commands the energy independence, and a lot of politicians and drillers who seem to be saying we really don't have anything to worry about if only we would just drill everything. >> guest: right. >> host: what's the limit to your optimism, or isn't there any? >> guest: well, i think there are a lot of things to worry about, and i try and -- i would say optimistic by realistic at
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the same time. there are enormous number of challenges, there are things that can go wrong. we can look right today and see some of these really big risks that are out there. so i wanted to make that clear. the optimism side of it is that when you just look at this whole unfolding history, you see that technology really does respond to challenges. obviously, one question is will the technological answers be there in time to meet the specific challenges, and, you know, we've seen this big surprise in the last three or four years. last time we had a presidential election, we're going to run out of energy. now we actually have a surplus of energy, so these things do change. but as i said, i want to be realistic about it, too, and i really want readers to understand what the real risks are. >> host: so do you actually believe the united states can be energy independent? >> guest: no, i don't think so. >> host: and mostly we're talking about oil independence. >> guest: yeah, really when people say oil independence, going all the way back to richard nixon, it's really been
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about oil independence. and i think we have turned the corner. i think we have the opportunity to be a lot less dependent. and if you tie it together with canada and elsewhere in the western hemisphere, i think we could see a western hemisphere isn't necessarily in fife or ten years importing as much oil from the eastern hemisphere. that's a big change. and we'll feel we're more resilient, we will be, and we'll get the economic benefits of development in our country, but i think it's a little too soon to actually proclaim the imminence of oil independence. >> host: well, and you mentioned this issue about the western hemisphere m becoming more independent, but this is another issue that i think is challenging because it seems to me as lock -- as long as there's 17 million barrels of oil a day flowing through the strait of hormuz, isn't that going to be a
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red line in terms of geopolitical strategy? we're not going to let japan and europe, if they're buying oil from that area -- >> guest: as it is, we only get about 12% of our oil from the persian gulf as it is today. china gets more oil. and it's kind of one of the questions i really leave on the table. how in five or ten years will the strategic balance change. but i think it is, you know, that region is still going to be central to the world's economy and central to the countries we're most closely involved in. so i think there's a strategic interest which is greater than whether a barrel has an american flag on it or not. >> host: and here is the cover of the book. it is called "the quest." daniel yergin won the pulitzer for his last book on energy called "the prize." 202-585-3885 if you live in the east and central time zones, 585-3886 for those in the mountain and pacific time zones. steve mufson of "the washington post", energy reporter, is also with us live at the national
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book festival. the first call for our guest, daniel yergin, comes from russell in bell month, pennsylvania. russell, you're on booktv on c-span2. please, go ahead. >> caller: well, hello, i'm happy to speak to you. this past week i saw a line on nbc television which said that a study by a major university indicated that there was a possibility of powering the entire east coast of the united states with windmills. located out in the ocean. i think it was stanford research institute, but i'm not sure of the exact quote. something like this seemed preposterous five or ten years ago, but now why isn't that a possibility? and would that make a big department in our oil needs? dent in our oil needs? >> guest: the question is about offshore wind. if you go to europe, germany particularly, denmark, u.k., people are building offshore wind. i think it's still early in
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terms of development to know how resilient wind will be in that harsher environment. it's also expensive. it's about twice or three times more expensive than onshore wind. so i will say we'll see. people are starting to do offshore wind development, but before the big share of our electricity, i think it would be some number of years and really have to pass through to show that over a period of time that it could survive the weather and the elements. >> host: next call comes from jerry in brooklyn, arkansas. jerry, please, go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: thank you. it's a real pleasure and honor to speak with mr. yergin. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: i read your "prize" and saw the pbs documentary based on it, and i thought it was very insightful. it really, i mean, your academic depth and scholarship is
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remarkable. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: my concern with your current book, "the quest," i wish -- i haven't read it. i will. >> guest: good. >> caller: i was concerned that there's not a -- if it were the vision, the vision. you know, "the quest," i know, is for profit. but is there a vision? is there something to do in these guys' these international oil companies' minds as they're polluting the gulf, they're drilling in the arctic the next big boondoggle, i guess, and maybe greater catastrophe environmentally? do they have any concept of a vision for humanity, for the oceans? oceans? anyhow, you understand what i'm
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saying. >> host: all right. we got the question. >> guest: obviously, the macondo accident you referred to was a really terrible thing, and really, you know, kind of transfixed the nation for months. but i think, you know, obviously, these are companies that are in business and responsive to their shareholders. i would suppose if you're saying what's the real vision, i think for everybody who's in the energy business, whether it's oil and gas, solar or wind, it's really how do you meet the needs of a glowing economy? you see people around the world who are very poor who are no longer poor rising standards of income, and with that goes rising energy and how to meet the needs of a growing world is a fundamental question that faces everybody in the energy bids, and it's kind of like a horse race. who can meet it in terms of on an economic competitive basis on a large scale. >> host: next question from steve mufson. >> of course, we talk about the
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economic basis a lot, and one of the things is you start to think about the climate and environmental dimension. this is different than what was in "the prize" of course which was focused on oil, but it does seem as though it's hard to separate that from the climate issue now and environmental issues. >>ing right. >> host: so this is, of course, not something that's calculated into the price of oil or coal or whatever fossil fuels. and yet also seems to be something we need to think about. what do you tell people when they ask about -- >> guest: well, i think -- >> host: -- expansion versus the new err, era of limit? >> guest: i tell the story of smog in los angeles which was an unsolvable problem. it got solved. it took regulations pushing technology. climate is just a bigger cement, global issue. and i was going to write one chapter on it because i wondered
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how did climate become such an issue, and i found myself writing six because it was so interesting, and it started with a small band of scientists in the 19th century who were worried about another ice age. in the 20th century it was sign terrorists worried about carbon and how that would drive up temperatures and global warming, and i think we've seen it's very hard to get a global solution to it. but it's really interesting. u.s. emissions are down now about, like, 17% from where they were in 2005. why? because we're using more natural gas to generate electricity rather than coal. so there's not one solution. i think something that will have an impact on climate is, obviously, more efficient automobiles. less gasoline usage means less carbon in the air. >> host: next call for daniel yergin comes from dan in depp very, colorado. hi, dan. >> caller: hi, sir. having read all of your books, i'm one of the older people who remembers post-world war
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america, and in post-world war america we spent incredibly large sums of money to insure the acquisition of one source of energy. and corporate money as a society, and corporate money was spent in inventing new ways for us to use new energy which the government then spent more money to acquire that energy, military and so on and so forth. the one thing the government did was space travel, and from the space travel not only we got to the moon, but an incredible amount of by-product has helped the industry. now most of novelty, most of new ideas are being acquired from private enterprise and not through open access scientific work as, you know, was done for the space program. do you think that if we return to the model of not for profit, acquisition of technology that everybody could use, we could
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save the planet whereas in the current plan all we're doing is adding to the problem because gas is adding to the carbon dioxide in the air. a little less, but it's not significantlyless. >> guest: well, i think that, obviously, you're talking about two things. one is what's happened to the space program, and in a sense the privatization of the space program that's going on. but the other thing you're talking about is the basic question of research. and i think we have gotten the levels of spending on energy research and development up. they're not back to the levels that they were before. i think that that's the most important investment we can make in our future if high and sustained levels of investment in the science, research and seasonal to that young people can go in there and know that they can build tiers careers, work on these problems. the work that's being done today in universities, we may not see the impact 10 or 20 years, and if the fundingn't there, if it gets interrupted, then we'll
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hughes that opportunity and what may be an important chance for the future. >> host: next call, dave in cortez, california. hi, dave. >> caller: oh, hi. this is cortez, colorado. >> host: oh, sorry about that. >> caller: oh, okay. out here in colorado we're going to have an initiative on the ballot, and it's been put on there to legalize hemp. and i was wondering what, how you feel about hemp, and before the 1930s we used hemp for a lot of synthetic products until the petrochemical industry decided they'll make a lot more must be by abandoning it. so i was wondering if we are as a country we start making synthetic rope instead of polyester, we'd start using it for food, fuel and fiber. >> host: we got the point, dave. thank you very much. >> guest: i don't have much expertise on hemp, but one of
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the areas we were talking just a moment ago about research, one of the questions is biofuels and the ability to make the energy we need, some part of it, out of biological material of some kind or another. and that's one of those examples where a lot of work is going into it. it turns out to be a harder problem than people thought. it's taking longer to do it, but i'd say that's one of the areas where five or ten years from now we may see the benefit of scientific research that we're seeing today. >> host: well, the stimulus program we just had had a huge amount of money for the energy department to give away and research, and you're familiar with the controversy about solyndra, the solar panel maker that went bankrupt with half a million dollars worth of loans. what do you think about the way the administration handled this money overall and how important it is for future development. >> guest: yeah, obviously, that
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was done on an emergency basis. and i think we'll see some really great work about the stimulus, that was part of it. i think that we've seen that the it's harder for the government to decide when it looks at different industrial enterprises what to pick, and particularly because you're dealing with the saygies of the market, sin da was based on how see lahr prices so i think you have to look at it along a spectrum, but i think that r&d, the basic science, the research, getting things towards commercialization, that's where the real role of government is. >> host: is there a moral about, you know, whether to finance those things, start-up ventures whether you purchase the end result or whether you put money in more like venture capital. >> host: that was what was really pioneered during world
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war ii to give us synthetic rubber. i think is the answer turns out it is a harder thing to do. and, obviously, it was done in that spirit of emergency. but i don't think we're going to see that tape of -- that part of the spectrum again. >> host: "the quest" is the name of the book. daniel yergin is the author. he is a pulitzer prize winner as well for his last book, and he is also vice chair of ihs cambridge energy associates. >> guest: it's a long name. >> host: what is ihs? >> guest: ihs is a company that is a big information company. it covers everything from energy to the comoi to electronics. ihs is part of that, it's a part that focuses on energy markets, and it's, basically, ongoing research in energy markets.
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>> host: and steve mufson is n reporter for "the washington post," he is our guest reporter today. next call comes frommal has see, florida. al, good afternoon. you're on booktv on c-span2. >> caller: hi, dan, i used to be the former energy director for the state of missouri and the great work that you did in energy and forests. my question is simple. originally, the price of oil, the supply and demand were connected directly, and the first energy shock was largely because the prices were regulated. and they were allowed to, they didn't rise the middle of a shortage, and then president reagan deregulated the prices. now it seems like the prices are geared towards speculation totally and don't have a relationship to supply and demand. are we in this, are we in this trough for a while?
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or when will the price of oil go down? >> i think you make an important claim. one of the hinges i've learned is price is a piece of information, and it tells consumers and producers woo to do and it tells researchers. one part reflects the fact that oil markets are growing strong, and many of the energy sources we have today wouldn't be economic at $20 a barrel, duh they're adequate now. i think you're right, football markets have had a bigger role than in the past, many investors look on oil and mod fews, i ask the class like invading in stocks or reality. the third thing, it reflects the eyeing -- rising opinions.
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you hear these statements that are made about conflict in some form or another, about whether iran is going to have nuclear weapons or not. that kind of scenario could effect the supply coming out of the gulf which as steve pointed 17 million of barrels a day. >> about 15 minutes left in this call-in program. vernon in st. petersburg, florida. go ahead. >> caller: thank you very much. i'm interested if we fully develop alaska to its pure potential and we use the natural gas, would that take care of our problem along with the keystone line from canada? >> well, i think all of those what best of my ability, or it's been supplanted by north dakota.
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alaska sought to have large russs, some of it is closed back because of environmental areas. conflict in washington over that issue. but i do think we see a changing balance. we were on course five years ago to spend $100 billion into the year with. we were going to be short. now we actually have a surplus of it, and it's helps our economy. i think ha kind of a change in the resource base, i think what we've discovered over the last couple of years and it's reflected, i think, in obama administration policy as well as what mr. romney's saying in his campaign is that energy development tie into economic development in the country, and taunt with focused -- wasn't notioned on even a couple of years ago. >> >> host: speaking about the exports of lng, i wud wondering
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how you feel about. a loot of companies -- a lot of companies want to keep it here and let cheap natural gas be part of an american industrial renaissance whereas, of course, some people say this is all part of our free trade as tuesday, and we can be exporting whatever we say. >> why that, of course, you know china well. i thought this -- that they were obsessed. it will make us more competitive in the legal economy. it seems to pee we'll up sorting. i don't think -- partly because it's a competitive market, and if it's a mod e share, i don't
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think. by the way, you had this terrible nuclear disaster, you need more gas. it would be good for us to say, okay, we'd like to be able to import some of our natural gas from you. we never thought five years ago about this, and it shows you how much our situation has changedded. >> host: next call for our guest, daniel yergin, comes from santa fe, california, jeff. please, go ahead. >> yes, hi. >> guest: hi. >> caller: my question is this. it seems as though oil and natural gas are commodities and as longs eark r axe, of our oil comes out of the mideast, ideals you won't predict that, the wind's always going to be at the whims of -- whims of the middle
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east. >> fudge bl means one barrel can be exchanged for another one easily. i think the question you're raising is the one steve related to earlier. and i think it's, it is true that even if we've much for end dependent or less opportunity our policy's knot we can. it lovess -- but, still, if you have a major disruption of oil supplies in the middle east, that will effect everyone around the world. what happens to oil prices in the norway is affected by what happens there. and the middle east has been the source of the upheaval for many peoples going babb b to 1956. >> host: lois in westport, connecticut. hi. >> caller: hi there. i understand that the obama administration had to --
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[inaudible] money in china to build windmills, and i wonder why the windmills couldn't be butter here, and i'm not so sure they're practical right now -- [inaudible] and another quick question. what did you think of fracking? >> guest: that's a great question. [laughter] that's not a quick question. but on green is about 4% of our electricity now. it's actually grown quite rapidly. it doesn't have the problem, it depends on the wind blowing, so it needs to be back up up with emergency resources. flsh. ..
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>> the gas produced that way is about 40% of our total supply. it is important to our economy. i was on a commission last year that president obama had set up, which tried to address a roadmap to dealing with the environmental questions. >> i would like to ask you both a question. breaking a political term, is that a political term or a technical term? >> is a derivative of the technical term, but it has become part of the popular jargon and language. it's amazing how that can happen
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in such a short period of time. just a year ago, oil analyst sent out an e-mail asking if we could all learn how to spell it. because some people spell it spell it with certain letters and there is not a consensus about it now. >> it was a sort of industry jargon, a shorthand that people use, and now it has become a political slogan, actually. >> i just took a trip along the proposed route and stop in a restaurant where they had on the menu something called the phrack attack. >> we are talking about the new book, the class, energy security and the remaking of the modern world and next up is mark in las vegas, hello, mark. >> caller: hello, i will make
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this quick. i just have a couple of questions for you. is energy growing at a linear rate or nonlinear versus supply? >> guest: well, i think it depends about where you are talking about. and where you are talking about exactly come in the united states, in terms of oil, we will reach peak demand in 2009, and our oil demand will go down. china's energy, it normally goes at nine or 10%. i think right now it is not that oil supplies it won't go more than normal on a normal basis, but it will affect what's going on with the middle east right now. half of the oil exports are out of the market because of the sanctions by the united states.
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>> host: what is your take on solynda? >> guest: solynda received subsidies from the department of energy. i think the money was given at a time when it was thought that solar was going to be very expensive and this chinese juggernaut came in along with a real fall of the silicon that goes in it. solyndra was stranded out there and it went bankrupt. it was not competitive. if they had to do it over, they probably wouldn't give them a alone. >> host: was a smart events investment for the taxpayers to make? >> guest: you have to look at it in the context of the whole stimulus program people will say, was that the best way were the only way, because remember that those were the days of 2009
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this was meant to just jump start things. it went bankrupt. >> host: are tax credits for alternative energies a good idea? >> i think it is important to diversify our diversity supply. i think solar, i think that we do need to see these costs come down, they continue to be technological innovations. i think that encouraging them in a reasonable way, not only have we incentives, but many require a certain amount of utilities. california has a goal of one third of renewables coming from renewable energy, which is a big goal. both in energy terms of
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environment. >> host: would even come and see? >> this issue right here and right now, because a lot of people in congress want to end the production tax credit by the end of this year. it is already a big slowdown. it is for new term warrants for next year. >> host: we have time for one more call. the call is gone in 10 now gone. you have anymore questions for mr. daniel yergin? >> guest: what is the next book? >> guest: it is still coming out in paperback as well. just staying on top of things and adjusting it and how the world is going. inspirational, it will eventually occur, but will it be on energy? >> somewhere in there, this is
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supposed to take two years, and it took five years. it is very interesting to make it a real narrative and you get the people in it, but it was a lot of fun to write. >> host: "the quest: energy, security and the remaking of the modern world" is the book. the author is daniel juergen. we are pleased to have been joined by the "washington post" energy reporter. thank you for being on booktv, we appreciate it. coming up on just a moment, we will introduce you to another book, "eminent outlaws: the gay writers who changed america." christopher barm is the author. we will have a chance to talk with him as well. after that, live coverage from the national book festival continues, sally bedell smith will be in the history and biography tent, she has written a new biography on march of this year of queen elizabeth ii. she will be talking about her book live and then we will join
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her in the tent for national call-in and she can talk with us and you as well. earlier this weekend, all weekend we have and live here at the national book festival. but earlier this weekend, we went out and we talked to some people about an exhibit at the library of congress. it is called books that shaped america. it is a collection of books at the library put together that they think helped shape america. well, we asked people about those books and that exhibit and what books they think should be included. >> we are here on the national mall in washington dc. >> i am abby potter and i am from washington dc. >> what exactly is digital preservation. >> what we're talking about
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today is digital archiving. teaching people about how to take care of their e-mails and digital photographs that they have, you know, older vhs tapes that they want to transfer to update the media. people that want to keep things in their e-mails and photographs, we can't just put them away in a drawer for 10 years and get them out at look at them again. because the technologies changed, formats change. >> are you talking talking that the same technology that uses while? >> we are starting to collect individual items like data sets and things like that don't have an equivalent. we also had to obtain the way we preserve those things and send a different message. which had to do with computer science, paying attention to formats and changes and many
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overtime. >> we have some of the biggest collections where we do a big election, the kind of election we are having, we have candidates that have presidential elections there, other sort of people, interested parties that have websites to collect those. after the election, they go away. they disappear, future scholars will want to look at those. we also have a big question, nowadays authors and scientists are using computers to create their documents, we are getting a lot of older formats like this that we have to figure out how to get the information off and
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have that information. >> right outside of the books that shaped america. >> i saw mainly history and biography. i am a high school librarian. they were interested in this, of course. >> than to hear jeffrey talking about the springboard and how he grew up on the springboard. and douglas brinkley about walter cronkite met what book would you recommend it to your students? >> any book instead. any book that inspires somebody is great. sometimes we lose sight of the classics, the recent classics. the books that i'm trying to get my students read our books like brave new world, classics like
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mark twain and books that deal with race in ways that they can identify, where they can say this is fine and what's the message? and of course, the library of congress, we got done researching the founding documents. and we read the primary source documents and we sit down and read, we can get done in there and read the actual papers of the president. and the library of congress, papers of justice kennedy who were actors and actresses. >> do think there are any books you have read recently heard about recently that accurately pretreated a state of our society and our culture and the political terms? >> not recently, you are kind of interested in what they are reading. nothing really recently.
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>> what book are you currently reading right now? >> i am reading a book about labor unrest in late parts of the 19th century and the governor of idaho is coming in to open the gates went up by a bomb. it's a great book that had to do with that and i am speaking more tomorrow about that. it involves walter johnson, who had the greatest picture of the early 20th century. it takes them to come to magnify it and show them what was going on at the time. that is pretty cool. >> acolyte at the national book festival, the 12th annual on the mall in washington dc, late
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afternoon, a beautiful late afternoon in washington, and our live coverage continues for a couple more hours. but next, we want to introduce you to the author of this book. eminent outlaws is the name of the book. help the writers changed america is the subtitle. the author joins us here on our set on the mall, christopher brown is the author. what is a gay writer? >> is writing about gay men and women about their firsthand experience in their fiction and their poetry and in their place. you're not pretending to be some of somebody you're not. you are telling the truth from your own firsthand experience. the book, i talk about, i wasn't qualified to include women too. but so many gay and lesbians both are writing from their firsthand experiences you might who are some of the early gay
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american writers a profile? >> i begin with truman capote, who published their first major books within weeks of each other. i follow that with allen ginsberg, james baldwin, christopher isherwood, tennessee williams was also working at this time too, this is like the first wave, and they caught a lot of grief for what they wrote. right after world war ii, homosexuality was illegal in all 48 states. you couldn't talk openly as a gay person. but you could write fiction about it and say i'm not writing about myself, i'm writing about these other people who are fictional. everybody saw through this white lie and understood what was going on. but they caught a little use from critics about it. the critics couldn't say, oh, you're clearly a homosexual,
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that would've been liable at this time. they found other ways to kind of complaint and attack and criticize. this first-generation caught a lot of great rema so how explicit are open could a james baldwin be or a christian be? >> they were initially very open. the second novel, giovanni's room, is about -- it's about two white men in paris, one of the great black american writers. before his second novel, he wrote about his own sexuality, but he transposed it to white men. and it is clear what is going on, he could not write graphics on sex scenes, but there was clear of a bond about this was sexual. they were readers knew that. this would, in his first major book, goodbye to berlin, what later became cabaret, he couldn't write it directly.
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we know that the main character, the narrator, is a man was fantastic. we don't know his sex life at all. we know about the lives of the people around him, we don't know who he is sleeping with, but years later when we talk about this, we can easily fill in the blanks. they were having to use different strategies and tactics to talk about it at a time when it cannot be talked about. but they found ways to do that. >> who are some were some of the contemporary gay writers for this? >> and then white, tony christner, author of angels in america, a wonderful poet, mark dougherty, very politically active, a san francisco writer who wrote tales of the city.
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these are the living writers that i write about. >> are we post the writers yet? >> good question. not quite yet. i think people would like it to be. it is still a subject that makes most readers uncomfortable. all of these gay characters. but people are still uncomfortable about it in books. i'm not sure why. maybe it's a book that's literally in her face. it is a little too unnerving. where it is easier where someone is on the stage or on tv. so it hasn't quite, we are not completely assimilated but maybe that's a good thing. it's good to be a little different to mix things up. and we are still mixing things up. so we still have the writers and we have african american writers, we still have women authors. which is a good thing. people have to acknowledge that even though it is an
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african-american writer, anybody can read them. they are telling stories that should interest anyone. they need to escape the idea of leaders that only gays would want to read about days or only african-americans who want to read about african-americans. it shouldn't be so. we should all want to read each other. we live in is very multicultural polyglot world right now. and we want to get as much information as we can. >> are you a gay writer? >> i am a gay writer. i write primarily novels. i have written my novels. one is the novel that became the movie gods and monsters. the main character, he is a gay man. everybody else around him is perceived that way. it is a gay novel.
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the gay experience changes things. it changes the balance of things. it is perceived as a gay novel and i really don't mind as long as people will still read it. i think all my novels mixed gay and straight people. they are not writing exclusively for a gay audience. i don't think any gay writer is. we want to get give them as many people as we can. we want readers, we love readers. >> 202 is the area code if you'd like to have a question for our guests. 585335 for those of you in the east and central time zones. those of you in the mountain and pacific time zones. i want to ask you about the subtitle. how did these gay writers changed america? >> well, just because they got people talking about homosexuality. as i said, it was illegal in all 48 states. but once he started talking about it, even if you are attacking it, you could start a
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conversation going. one of the things i discovered is that over this. of 50 years, things change, people could say different things. it was kind of an indirect change of the culture at large. you couldn't talk about it in the movie, there were a few villains. you couldn't talk about it in tv at all. but you can talk about it in books. once you started talking about it, it began to spill over into movies and television and became part of the dialogue at large. >> at what point, and perhaps, who are some of the first writers who came out and were openly gay rather than just known to be gay. >> that's a good question. maybe christopher. it is later than we were then. it was in the late 60s, he did a novel called the single man. and he, which is about a gay man
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was alone, he's grieving for his partner, and it just follows him in one day of his life. there is no sex in it, but this is a gay man. and isherwood would say, this is based on my experience. and he was in it in a way like nobody else. others like tennessee williams cannot later, up i should say, allen ginsberg came out. he asked why are you always writing about homosexuality and he would say because i am a homosexual. he actually, i think, was the first, even to the point of who's who who is who in america, he looked at his partner as this is my lover. this is my husband. and i think he really was the first. >> wasn't allen ginsberg arrested for some of his poetry? >> his book, when it was
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published, it was put on trial or obscenities. ginsberg was on a trip. it was his publisher, lauren sterling get a publisher, lauren sterling getty, a straight man who loves good poetry and got behind this book of poems, who went on trial. and he became national news, the late 1955. and it was a book of poetry. because of this trial, because it had gotten major news coverage, newspapers, the book of poetry became a bestseller seller. it was small, but the title point was great. which was, this was just raw and powerful, words and energy, which included gay sexuality in a very matter-of-fact way. they got all this attention, people were reading it and people could talk about the sexuality in a way that they had them before.
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>> we are talking up with christopher bram. this is the most recent book. is this your first nonfiction? >> yes, estimate of comedy writers who changed america, the first call comes from randy in salsa, oklahoma. >> how are you all doing? >> i have a question about the doj five group that was established in the 1970s. a group at the federal level and what effect it had on national security are you the fellow that was on turkey mountain? by the way, you can google this, she is the sister of a whistleblower who has been exposed to some of the activities with janet reno and so forth to when you are talking about the doj project, you are talking about the department of
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justice, right? >> guest: i'm not sure. >> host: peter, we will move on to you. >> caller: we are now enjoying the coolness in charleston, for a change. >> i just turned the tv on, so i may have missed. you might have covered this already, please excuse the question if it has already been answered. i have always loved walt whitman. i just love his work. especially in april when lilacs last by the dooryard balloon. and i always loved the canadian writer, i believe her name was katherine. she wrote creation.
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her writing is beautiful. i understand and he knows and understands. but in a way, who cares. i love her writing. >> let's go to the walt whitman park. >> the book starts covering writers only after world war ii. whitman is a great one who published things in the 1850s, he included the calamus forums, which are between men. it was very exciting and different and gay men and women would refer to these forums is that somebody was finally writing about me telling my story. i talk about the only briefly in
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my book because i'm talking about world war ii. but what lynn was a major breakthrough. an interesting thing about whitman as he did not want to be identified as gay. once he became famous, he was insisting that he would get letters from men in same sex relationships. and that would be like oh, no, that's not what i'm talking about. he did not want to give up his celebrity to be a spokesman for a small minority group. he was very nervous about that. it was kind of sad. the same things that we saw happening later with the early generation of american writers. it was hard to come out. it was hard to let your desires we don't. >> i don't know if this is a topic you all are familiar with, but was walt whitman known to be gay around a wider circle? >> .around a wider circle. he got in trouble for writing
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about prostitutes, and writing about the human body. and it was like oh, what is this subject he is dealing with. emily dickens said that i've heard he is insane. it wasn't a homosexuality to boddicker, it was the sexuality. >> where did you grow up? >> in norfolk virginia and virginia beach virginia. >> when did you become a gay writer and how did you get into this? >> i always wanted to become a writer early on, and i began by writing a straight novel. that was my first novel, the circle of friends, and i worked on it for seven years, it's not very good, but i learned how to write a novel. afterwards, i couldn't sell it and i thought in the meantime, i discovered that i am a gay man, i have a boyfriend, i'm living in new york, i should write about that. i might not be able to publish it either, but least at least i will be writing what i really want to write. >> "eminent outlaws" is
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published. go ahead caller. >> caller: i wanted to know if john is still writing. john reggie. he had a book that got a lot of attention oh, back in the 50s, it was called the city is of night. has he done anything recently? >> he is still writing. he is still working and living in l.a. i cannot remember the last titles that he did. his big book is city of night, which was published in the early 1960s, really important book. he later did, what we got to see, numbers, and he did a number called a sexual outlaw, which is kind of one of the influxes from my title, "eminent outlaws." it combines the title from the administration and the sexual outlaw by john reggie. the more recent work isn't as
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strong as his early work. >> christopher, christopher barm, are a lot of gay writer's political? >> guest: i think they are whether they want to be or not. they didn't know that they have no choice. some are more political than others. larry kramer is a case in point. some people say he is one, politics is more important to him in than good prose, but is very committed to politics. tony kushner, great american playwright, very politically committed. with these men being as political as they are, i don't know. but politics is a major part of their identity. >> how close is the father of frankenstein, your novel, to the movie, gods and monsters? >> this movie is very faithful to my book. it includes my best dialogue, i was so happy with that movie.
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i could not be happier. >> host: dennis from seattle, good afternoon from washington. >> i was wondering, what a great inventions in your book. i know that you couldn't cover everybody, but james purdy was not included, who wrote for like 50 or 60 years as a gay man. could you speak to him please? >> i didn't speak to him, but i did leave him out. the book is in -- well, it includes like 12 writers. the writers i needed to tell my story too, in which is kind of weave them together. then i was able to work in other writers that i thought were important. i was never able to find a way to work them in. >> host: thomas from rochester new york, good afternoon to you. >> i want to know -- i know that
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gore vidal, in 1948, in "the new york times" refused to review it. and i was wondering if you could talk about the problems he had with this book and how important it was an what was the first gay book, either fiction or nonfiction, that "the new york times" did review, and also, it was the first gay writer who actually use the word gay to describe themselves guess macros are good questions. where to begin, gore vidal, he would have published the new york daily times, which would not review it. it was reviewed in the book review, however, that the daily times reviewing was orval prescott, he hated the book so much that he wouldn't reveal it. however, he did review other books. so it wasn't just a
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homosexuality to put them off. i'm not sure. but he reviewed chairman capote's other voices, other rooms, which he liked very much even though the gay story element, he said he didn't like. but he loved the writing, he was able to look past the homosexuality and talk about other things. but yeah, gore vidal has very creative options, but it was a national bestseller. it sold extremely well the next two years. and it was very successful. the other part, they describe themselves as the writers. maybe christopher isherwood, but otherwise, it was alluded to in directly. i think stonewall riots that more and more writers would say that i am a gay writer. tennessee williams who had been gotten major american writers,
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period him he would kind of avoid that subject until he published his memoir in 1972, and then he had no trouble at all on the gay writer, i admit it, here are my experiences as a gay man, it is an important part of who i am. >> even include truman capote, but did he include that? >> there is a subplot of a gentleman who is in love, and he is pretty upfront and pretty clear about that. but it got some good reviews, and capote avoided the subject. use the christopher isherwood played there is a character named truman capote, but we wouldn't know his sexuality. he left it blank. later on, readers can go back to it still and fill in the blanks. but after getting kicked in the teeth, he avoided that subject,
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although, when he appeared on television, anybody listening to him could tell that this is a gay man, and he never had that. he never tried to butcher it up. it was very flamboyant, and he knew he was, and he worked with it. and it kind of had a perverse appeal. who is this strange man with a high-pitched voice, we want to listen to them. >> was anyone surprised when tennessee williams came out? >> one writer had this joke about, hey, we knew that he wasn't father of the year. so yeah, nobody was surprised. >> christopher barm's first nonfiction is "eminent outlaws: the gay writers who changed america" and he has been our guest on booktv on c-span2. thank you, sir. >> great to be here, thank you for having me. >> the national book festival from the national mall in washington continues. up next, sally smith.
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in march, she published her biography of queen elizabeth ii, and she will be in the history biography tends in just a moment. she will be talking about that biography. after that, a national call-in program with sally bedell smith, so stick with us. a couple more hours of coverage here from washington dc. now, here is the history and the biography can, so it sally bell smith will be with us. does live coverage of the 12th annual book festival. >> ♪ ♪ ♪.
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>> hello and good afternoon. i'm the editor of the style section of the "washington post", and i am one of the longtime sponsors of this wonderful event. before we begin, i am going to ask to make a couple of comments for things that we'd watch out for. please do not sit on the camera rises at the back. you should also know that the event is being taped, both for the library's archives and by c-span for airing on booktv. when sally has finished speaking, the microphones and economy to the right into the center, please come up to those and please silencer cell phones and beepers. >> so it is with a combination of enormous admiration and affection that i am here to introduce sally bell smith and in local author here in washington with her husband, the editor of the washington
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examiner. when i tried to reach her last week to talk about today, we exchanged several e-mails before i was able to catch her in her office. that was between an afternoon speaking engagement and an evening talker the next day she was heading off to virginia beach for a luncheon discussion and then back to washington in time for reception and dinner. she told me she was embarking on a seven city tour of the states and officer of the royal oak foundation. that is the organization that works at the british national trust. all of which made me realize that sally probably has more formal engagements these days than her majesty has. and without, of course an entourage of ladies in waiting. there is no waiting. and that is because of enormous the enormous interest people have shown in her latest biography, elizabeth, queen, the life of a modern monarch. what sally has done in this book
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to get past the hype and speculation to discover elizabeth windsor and how her position has evolved during her 60 years on the throne. as she balances her public and private life, her good works and her celebrity status. who would have imagined two decades ago that the queen would be starting with james bond in a skit that ended with head doppelgänger parachuting into the london olympics. well, elizabeth the queen if you read it, it all makes sense. through sally, we learn about the woman who is funny, humane, and politically shrewd. with surprising sparkle and imaginatively, as well as the resilience to survive when things are not exactly hunky-dory. sally devoted two years and met the queen three times in private
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settings. first of the british embassy in washington dc. she got access to enormous number of people who know the queen intimately, including the british artist, howard morgan, who told sally that he talks like an italian. she waves her hands about. so she delved into the archives, read notes about the birth of prince charles, and even had a private tour. she can tell you what it's like when the queen laughs. the best-selling, award-winning author of five autobiographies, sally has taken taking us inside the white houses of president kennedy, she is taking us into the life of princess diana and others. please let me welcome sally bedell smith, and let me begin by asking her the most complex question, what is the queen terri in her handbag? welcome, sally. [applause]
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>> i have to be honest that i'm especially honored to be her today because our friendship goes back to the mid-1990s when my husband was the founding editor of the library of congress and it was his highly capable deputy editor. it fell victim to the first wave loss of funding, but this has gone on to be the top editor of the "washington post." as i have been traveling around the country, the one consistent question that i have heard is what did you learn that surprised you. >> the answer is that there was something unexpected around almost every corner. in my research, i made numerous discoveries about the way the queen goes about her job and
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about aspects of her character that people don't know about or don't fully appreciate. one of my main goals in writing elizabeth the queen was to part the curtain and tell what she was really like, taking the reader as close as possible to elizabeth, the human being, the wife and mother and friend, as well as the highly respected leader. i also wanted to do what none of her other biographers, all of them english, had done. just to explain her strong connection to the united states. not only has she been to this country five times -- 11 times, excuse me, five of them on private holidays, the most vacation time she has been anywhere outside her private estate, some of her and her
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closest friends are americans, which may be one of the biggest surprises. she has also known every president from harry truman to barack obama with the exception of lyndon johnson, who tried, but failed to meet her. i remember being impressed when an official told me at the memorial service at st. paul's cathedral, after the 9/11 attacks, the queen sang every single word of the american national anthem. and i would bet that there aren't any presidents who can sing all of the words to god save the queen. since we e here today, on the national mall, i thought i wuld f on e queen's fossndne wos for this country tho litt known and well known, and so the
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queeto h under better. state visits here when it was written. one was the first came to washington in 1951, she was a 25-year-old princess, only months away from becoming qunee harry truman was cometely ten, aouncing that when everyone becomes acquainted with you, they immeely followed that with u tho who followed him, truman wa srprisdhat proachable than she seemed in her public imag. dght eisenhower had known princess elizabeth during world war ii when he wasi lon, he haha hcalled wa deted and he entertained the
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teprincess a his lodon apartment where he sv her prime ribs of beefaccodi to instructions, nice and rare. in 1957, she was given a short trip by her biographers. according to a horrible research and in an interview, rick buchanan, who was the protocol, was with the royal couple throughout their six days in the united states. which began in jamestown and williamsburg and ended in new york city and included an impromptu visit to a supermarket in suburban maryland. ruth gave me an impromptu and
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valuable personal perspective on her conduct its queen and her relationship with her husband, prince philip. one of my favorite descriptions was of a moment on the president's airplane when philip was immersed in the sports section of the newspaper and ignoring his wife's questions on the postcards to their children. when she pressed him, he got flustered. it was so interesting what was happening when her husband wasn't paying attention to her, he said. he also noticed that elizabeth was very certain and comfortable in her role and very much in control. yet, once when ruth was waiting at the white house for her husband, ruth heard her roaring with laughter at one of the protocols. you didn't realize that she had
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that kind of a hearty laugh, booth said. the minute she rounded the corner, she straightened up. this combination of public dignity exists to this day. the 1957 visit was remarkable for its informality and spontaneity. and the number of unguarded glimpses of the queen seen by the public. she has specifically asked what to see what she called an american football match. twigg university of maryland and the university of north carolina, she went down on the field and chatted with the players. the governor of maryland, explained that her history of football going all the way back to the greeks and romans and the president at the university of maryland, even showed her how to throw a forward pass. she watched the game intensely,
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but she did see perturbed whenever the players through blocks. on the way to the stadium, she had spotted a supermarket, which was a phenomenon that was then unknown in britain. and she asked to see how american women went shopping. well, he visited was hastily arranged after the game, startling hundreds of shoppers. wearing a full-length mink coat, she and prince philip explored the supermarket like a pair of anthropologists in american culture. she marveled at the quantity and range of projects. the queen was particularly intrigued by the frozen chicken pot pies. and she quizzed the store's
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manager about refrigeration techniques and how the checkout counters worked. at her insistence, they arrived at their next stop, new york city, by water, which is something she had been dreaming about since childhood. squealed with tonight ungentle life. she compared to a rule of great tools. she ate a three course meal, which was highly unusual for a site, said she was never supposed to be filmed eating. when the royal couple left after midnight, their limousine was lit up the crowds lining the streets to see her in her glittering evening gown and her diamond tear a.
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many of the women were wearing bathrobes and they have curlers in her hair. look at all those people and then i close, she said to philip. i certainly would not come out in my might close to see anyone drive by, no matter who they were. the british people felt left out as they read about the queen's relaxed style that they had never seen. to them, she was still a distant presence. and it would be several decades before mingling with ordinary people would become standard operating procedure. why did she have to cross the atlantic to become real? wondered one newspaper in london after she returned home.
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with the exception of 14 hours in chicago for the opening of the st. lawrence seaway in 1959, the queen would not return to the united states for nearly another two decades. but she did entertain american presidents in britain. eisenhower made a very memorable visit to belgium world, where she invited him to a picnic and cooked scones on a griddle for him. he was so impressed that he asked her for the recipe, which she wrote out in longhand. apologizing that the quantity was for 16 people and adding that the mixture needed a great deal of beating. she gave jack and jackie kennedy a dinner at buckingham palace, which was the first time the president had dined there when woodrow wilson was entertained by the queen's grandfather, king
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george five. yet, the 31-year-old first lady was surprisingly critical afterwards. he was not impressed by the flowers were the furnishings at buckingham palace. or by the queens evening gown and what she described as her flat hairstyle. jackie said that when she also complained about the pressure of being on tour, the queen gave her a glance of and advice that one gets classy with time. when the president was assassinated in 1963, she was prevented from her doctors from attending the memorial service at the intensity was the beetle. yet she insisted on having her
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own memorial service at saint george's chapel windsor, and she invited 400 american servicemen to attend the service and to have a tour of windsor castle afterwards. when winston churchill died in january 1965, the queen gave him the supreme honor of a full state funeral. lyndon johnson wanted to be there, but he was in the hospital with acute bronchitis. for three days, his request for special accommodations, including her in his armchair to the funeral, ranging shelter from the rain, and being allowed to sit while others were standing. the queen granted all of his request, and thoughtfully invited him.
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unfortunately, lyndon johnson's doctors denied his request to meet the queen. richard nixon had been very eager to please the queen since their first meeting in 1957 when he gave her a book entitled the art of readable writing. in an effort to improve their public speaking. which had been criticized in the british press. nixon also hosted a stand-in or for prince philip in the white house, which prompted barbara walters to scold him for not including any women. nixon had princess anne and two children visit in washington, even trying to fix up his trials with his daughter, patricia, once of the prime minister's residence in the country, but he never managed to get the queen
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over here for a state visit. his successor was the ambitious post in 1976. he game this week against with the queen at the white house to the unfortunate choice of the lady is a champ. planning went somewhat awry, as it did at the british ambassador's reception for 1600 people during the washington leg of their tour. elizabeth was being trailed by tv cameramen with very big bright lights. when suddenly, this cameraman disappeared and ran to the front door of the ambassador's residence, because elizabeth taylor was making her grand
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entrance. the ambassador was furious. the queen of was merely amused. her press secretary told me that because for once, somebody else was the center of media attention. in private during that trip, she also demonstrated the secret of her sturdy stance that the allows her to endure long hours on her feet. lifting her evening gown above her ankles, she told the wife of her foreign secretary that one plants once the apart like this. always keep them parallel. make sure that your weight is evenly distributed, and that is all there is to it. the queen was accompanied by her good friend, jenny, who was her first and only american lady in waiting. who grew up in new york and newport, rhode island. as the wife of one of the
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queen's friends since childhood, she had been entertained frequently at the queens home, that all moral, and when the queen nasser in 1973 to join her at her household, jenny declined. but she frequently became one of her most frequent attendance. the temperature was very high, but she said luckily i don't mind the heat when surrounded by a crowd in manhattan. it was another example of what people told me about the queen. that she does not perspire, even in the hottest temperatures. this is something i actually witnessed when i was on tour in the tropics with the queen and
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her face remained throughout remarkably dry. one of the queens cousins, lady pamela hicks, explained to it to me in her own an unknowable way that the queens then does not run water. while it helps her look good and helps keep her clothing ungreased, it does make her uncomfortable. the queen had a fleeting encounter with jimmy carter when he attended a black-tie dinner at buckingham palace in 1977. but he managed to offend her mother by enthusiastically sing her on the lips. i took a sharp step backward, the queen mother recalled, not quite good enough. she later said that she had not been this that way since the death of her husband of 25 years
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earlier. the friendship between the royal family and ronald and nancy reagan was the closest of all the american presidents. the reagans had first met prince charles was in california while serving with the real navy in the early 1970s. they had an equally strong relationship with the queen and prince philip, as well as her sister, princess margaret, the queen mother, and her cousin, princess alexandra. they kept an extensive personal correspondence that i was given permission to read at the presidential library out in california, the reagan library. the letters tell a story of infection and thoughtfulness on both sides, over more than three decades. correspondence that continues to this day with nancy reagan. in june of 1982, when the reagans were in europe for summit meetings, the queen invited them to stay at windsor castle. which was the first such
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personal invitation for an american presidential couple. not only did she arrange such a dedicated telephone line, but she had the first shower installed in the more than 900-year-old castle, because she was told that is what the family needed. it was a family dinner on the first night, and the following morning from the queen invited the reagans to breakfast. it was surprisingly informal, nancy reagan told me. we had to walk through their bedroom and line up on a table where boxes of cereal were. i said to prince charles, what do i do? and he said, just help yourself. there wasn't anything like i had imagined, she said. the most famous part of that visit was the ride on horseback by ronald reagan and the queen. ..
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at the home of former british ambassador walter annenberg. when the claim insisted on braving the elements to tour the grounds of the 200-acre estate she hopped into the main and start that was filled with mops and brooms.
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reagan had promised the queen arrest and style ride on horseback at his rancho del see yellow on a mountaintop near santa barbara. the relentless downpour forced the house to arrange 4-wheel drive vehicles to climb the 7 miles of hair-thin turns up the mountain. despite concerns about the dangers the queen was eager to take the treacherous dirt wearing black leather boots and a macintosh. she says, if we can get there, let's go. the ride on horseback had to be canceled. a thick slog blocks the view, but the two couples had a lunch of tacos and enchiladas and three fried beans. that was so enjoyable, the queen said, especially they used
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beans. [laughter] in san francisco there was a black-tie dinner in honor of a queen and prince philip at the museum. watching the clock, he asked the queen's private secretary, sir philip morris, why she was taking so long to get ready. the queen needs heard tiara time , he replied he then explained that she has a kayten with tools that she uses to decorate certain crs by hooking on paroles or rubies or sapphires for emeralds depending on what she is wearing. when i asked the crown jeweler, david thomas about this he said that it is, in fact, a pastime that she very much enjoys. the queen and prince philip had
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an easy camaraderie with george h. w. bush and his wife, barbara in part because they were all close contemporaries. philip and the 41st president had also both seen action in the pacific in world war ii, which give them a common bond. the queen is rather formal, bush told me, but i never found per reserved, standoffish. it is hard to explain really, but she is a very, very easy to be with. conversation comes easily. that ease was evident after the white house welcoming ceremony for her third state visit in 1991 when presidential aides for got to provide a set for the podium that have been designed for the considerably taller president's. while making her remarks, the cluster of microphones obscured the queen's face, offering tv viewers what appears to be a talking purple and white striped
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had. the queen laughed after words. another moment slightly gone wrong. her humor made it all seemed fine, george bush said. he also marveled at her stamina at age 65. at the state dinner he observed that her fast pace had left even the secret service panting. one of the queen's secret service once said she has too great assets. she sleeps very well and secondly, she has got very good legs. she is, he said, as tough as a yak. i got another insight from of a woman named valentino who, for many years, oversaw blair house which is where the queen and prince philip were staying during a visit. she happens to see elizabeth one
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morning before she set off on a half engagement. the queen was standing completely by herself. it was as if she is looking inward getting set. this is how she wound up her batteries. there was no chitchat. standing absolutely still and waiting, resting within herself. bill and hillary clinton had a warm relationship with the "-- queen as well. like other presidents clinton was impressed with what he described as the clever manner in which he discussed public issues, probing the for information and insight without venturing too far into a expressing her own political views. he observed that the circumstance of her birth, she might have been a successful politician
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and diplomat. as it was, he said, she had to be both but without quite seeming to be either. george w. bush got off on the right foot, literally, with the queen during her 1991 visit. the president's 44-year-old eldest son was wearing custom-made cowboy boots to his parents' private luncheon upstairs of the white house. the texas rangers, is that on the boots, the queen asked? note -- no, ma'am, the young george joked. god save the queen. she left the nest, are you the black sheep in the family? i guess so, he said. the queen replied to all families have them. he asked, whose horse? don't answer that, said his mother, which let the queen
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escape from the conversation. the 43rd president noticed the queen's twinkle which he told me he took as a sign of an easy spirit. george and laura bush were not only honored by his visit at buckingham palace in 2003, they hosted her for a state visit at the white house four years later laura could not have note -- could not help noticing one of the queen's habits. at the end of a meal some people find surprising. she opens her handbag, pulls out a compact, and three applies to lipstick. sometime later laura made a similar cosmetic fix during a washington ladies luncheon and cheerfully said, the queen told me it was all right to do this. before arriving at the white house in 2007 the queen and philip had attended the kentucky derby for the first time. laura made certain to advise the
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winning jockey, calvin barrell, to the state dinner. when he and the queen met in the receiving line, if he wrapped an arm around her and the first lady. the queen has become, by then become accustomed to american familiarity and did not mind at all that he had breached protocol by touching her. a similar encounter led to headlines in the british tabloids when barack and michele obama visited buckingham palace with a first time in march 2009. at a reception for heads of state attending did g20 summit the queen and circulated informally through the crowd of high-powered gas. as michele and the queen were talking, they turned toward one of her ladies in waiting to show their difference in height. the queen is about 5-foot three or five ft. four. michele, as you know, nearly 6 feet.
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the first lady put her arm around the queen and responded by lightly in circling machel's waste. the palace videographer told me that they were totally spontaneous gestures. the tabloid it made a fuss about what they called an unthinkable protocol violation by the american first lady. in fact, the queen was completely relaxed about what heard top advisers called for a display of affection and appreciation. elizabeth's day at the kentucky derby was arranged by one of her closest american friends, will ferris, a former ambassador to britain and a fellow in thoroughbred breeder. during her fifth private holiday on his horse farm in kentucky, her first vacation there had been in 1984, and it was such a novelty that when she landed at lexington a woman from customs
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administration would not admit her to this country without a passport. the state department protocol officer who was accompanying the queen tried to explain that the queen does not have a passport, which is one of the oddities of her unusual status. the official resistance until a call to washington gave the queen clearance. the pattern of her stay in the bluegrass for his country held for all of her subsequent holidays visits to farms to seek prospective the stallions, and outings to local racetracks. lunches and dinners with friends from the world. whenever senior advisers told me that he saw an atmosphere of informality and gave the that i never saw in england. no one was calling her man or your majesty. she was laughing and joking and having fun. in 1984 she also stayed for a
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weekend in wyoming and arrange on the slopes of the big horn mountains. her hosts were her longtime racing manager and his wife, jeanne, another american friend in the queens inner circle. when they first met in london in 1955 gina was struck by what she described as the queen's steadiness. she is difficult to know, gene told me, but it is worth the wait. you sort of become friends. it takes a long time to know where. in wyoming the queen was able to relax completely, taking 5--mile walks on the 4,000-acre property and joining shooting parties as the guns brought down. she hosted a dinner at the mavericks' supper club where she was quite perplexed by the process of ordering from a restaurant menu which she had not done before. what offered various sizes of
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filet mignon. she asked, now, here's a surprise. a queen size the bill that cuts would has browned potatoes and onions because i have never tasted before. honored departure she wrote a letter to ronald reagan describing the time she had spent in america doing what she liked best, looking at beautiful thoroughbreds and walking in the wide-open spaces by the absence. the american west had a long held a fascination for the queen. one of her most intriguing american friends has been a monty roberts, a california cowboy who is known as the horse whisperer for his humane techniques to train horses in a circular pen. she was so impressed by what she had read about his approach that she invited him to demonstrate his technique at windsor castle in 1989.
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come show me this lion's cage of yours, she said. do i need a whip and change? as montae recalled to me, said that not only with the twinkle but that her message addressing him clearly her talent put him at ease. his demonstration was a big success, and the queen and the cowboys struck up a fast. over lunch in the castle garden she asked him numerous questions i saw mine open up, he recalled. when he told her something that she did not know she would sit on the edge of her chair, he said, with a humility of a first grader. she also gave him advice on how to present his concepts to a skeptical group of english trainers. you need to ease up, he said. that way you don't appear to be too competitive. the queening kirsten to write
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his memoirs, critique his draft, and even found a publisher. there remain in contact by phone, and he visits her at windsor several times a year. 2011, she awarded roberts by making him an honorary member of the royal victorian order. and when her oldest corky died several weeks ago at age 13 it was revealed that he had been named after monty roberts. her last visit to the united states was in july 2010 to lay a wreath at ground zero in new york city. and she spends nearly a half hour in a record sheltering heats of 100 degrees, 103 degrees greeting families of those who have lost their lives on september 11th. debbie polymer, the widow of a firefighter who died in september 11th echoed the observation of others when she told me, we were all pouring
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sweat, but she did not have an obvious what honor. i thought, this is what it is like to be roiled. well, the queen has shown us over the years how to be royal in so many ways. her sense of duty and professionalism as well as her wisdom and good judgments, which is endearing, not only to her subjects, but to so many people in this country. on her first state visit in 1957 she emphasized the common language and the heritage of history between britain and america. she praised the enlightened and skilled statesman who founded the american republic. she has repeated her pledge of between many, many times over the years with her words and her actions and her clear affection
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for america's tradition, people, and its leaders. the queen has helped in ways beyond measure to ensure that this special relationship between britain and the united states transcends political differences wherever they may arrive. thank you. i'd be delighted to take questions. [applause] >> hi. i'm curious if you can tell us what is in her handbag as was alluded to? to, under their legal system, is queen or king, as that gender of the head of state changes, is that the most important political title under their system or is it something else? avast the british embassy and have not got no reply. >> well, first of all, the hand back. i had three eyewitnesses.
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the most amusing one was a manager of the football team in the home who sat next to her at a luncheon. i talked to and after words, and if she said that she had opened her handbag and got a very good look. you know, it's just like anybody's hand back. it had a coin purse, probably did not have any coins in it. it had heard -- it had her makeup. it had some sweet there for her coffee. it had a column, lipstick. i spoke to one of her ladies in waiting, and she said you know, you have to understand that the queen is very practical. she carries thing that she needs. a handkerchief. she often carries losses. it is up to the lady in waiting to carry things like extra pairs of gloves, needles, that, things like that. she is practical and wants to have these things close at hand. one more thing that a friend
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told me about that she had seen when she went to dinner at one of the queen's cousin is some years ago. she watched from a sitting very close and watched as the queen opened her hand back and pulled out a suction cup and proceeded to spit into the sexting cup. attached to that section kemp was the hook. she took it and prompted underneath the table said that she could hang your head back our. that is the essence of practicality. as far as the most important title, i mean, obviously the market goes back 1,000 years. it is often said that the power and glory in britain are kept separate. the power is invested in the prime minister who is the leader of the party that wins in a general election. the queen has a specific power under the constitution to be
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consulted and to encourage and to warn. she does that in all of her private audiences with the prime ministers and many other government officials, members of the clergy and members of the judiciary to come to her for completely confidential audiences which are extremely important to them. [inaudible question] >> well, the first constitution is so different from ours. underwritten, accumulation of laws and traditions. their subjects of the queen. that is what, you know, the term is. >> i need to ask, asking questions just temporarily, please stick around for more questions from the audience. c-span will be here shortly to continue. there will be taking questions year from that history and
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biography pavilion and also from national colors. please stay with us. we would love to have you continue. and if you have questions, we will be back with you in it slightly less than ten minutes. thanks so much for your patients. please stay with us, and please thank our author. that was wonderful. [applause] >> that was live coverage of sally bedell smith talking about her biography of queen elizabeth the second. as you heard the organizers say, c-span will be joining her on states to take your calls in a national call-in. we will put the numbers up on the screen in just a minute and you will be able to dial in. if you have questions for sally bedell smith, go ahead and thailand. over the years book tv and c-span, especially c-span have
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covered queen elizabeth the second, her state visits to the u.s. and on u.s. president's visits to a great britain as ll as the annual opening of parliament. so we want to show you just a video montage of queen elizabeth from the c-span video archives, and then our live coverage of the national book festival continues. ♪ >> delighted to be able to exit gravitation, this state visit to washington and to renew my acquaintance with blair house, now magnificent the restored. rumor has it that it is another british guest who wants, at least in part, responsible for the decision to make clear house into the presidential guest house. it seems that winston churchill spent three weeks in the white house as a guest of the roosevelts over christmas in
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1941. churchill preferred to work at night. the story goes very late one night, or more likely very early in the morning he tried to persuade mrs. reso to let him talk to the presidents. mrs. roosevelt supposedly decided to come in and of that. hence forth the president's desk should be accommodated elsewhere. it so happens that when we came here at the invitation of president eisenhower blair house was temporarily out of commission. if so we stayed in the white house. i may say that neither the president nor i attempted to reserve the rest. this is now the fourth time i have had the honor of proposing a toast to the president of the united states.
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the very place where my father once proposed a toast to president roosevelt. no wonder i cannot feel a stranger here. the british have never felt america to be a foreign land. here we feel comfortable and among friends. it gives me great pleasure to welcome you and mrs. bush to london. member will landmarks to my rain . unlike the and states, the british head of state is not limited to two terms of four years. i have welcomed no fewer than seven of our. [indiscernible] the first u.s. president, woodrow wilson. the summer of 1918.
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america had been recycling and was to do so again in our need during the second world war. under the very core of the new international and multinational order which has emerged after that share of prices, that last terrible world war, a vital dynamic trans-atlantic partnership working with other mias to create effective pigeon as a last season's. the plan led to the beginning of the european union. the astonishment of nato became the bedrock of the european security. sixty years ago winston churchill coined the term special relationship.
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the united kingdom and united states forces that was instrumental in freeing europe from tyranny. despite occasional criticism i believe it admirably describes our french. like all special friends we can talk frankly, and we can disagree from time to time. even every particular issue. there is always so much we're doing together at all levels with disputes quickly overcome and forgiven. i, in my term, have had the pleasure of paying three state visits to your country. the last was in 1991, the end of
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the cold war. your father was president and instrumental in leading the way to those headed but uncertain months from the fall of the berlin wall in 1989 to the breakup of the soviet union two years later. in this study first century we face together many unforeseen, formidable challenges. a leader sent you showed in the aftermath of the terrible of a sense of the 11th of september september 2001 won the admiration of everyone in the united kingdom. you lend their response to an unprovoked terrorist attack which was on a scale never seen before. your friends in this country were reminded the sense of grief
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and horror that structure nation that tape and to share the slow and often painful process of recovery. inevitably reminds us of our shared history, our common language, and our strong intellectual and it also reminds us that your country tourists came to the rescue of the free and democratic world when it was facing military disaster. on each occasion after the end of those wars the generosity of the united states made a massive contribution to our economic recovery. today the united states remains our most important ally, and our two nations to security and
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prosperity of our people and the world through shared national interest. but our relationship goes far beyond our military and diplomatic task. in your inaugural address you spoke to the american people of the values that lay at the heart of your nations success. honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism and ended this 30 alliances enduring convictions with which your nation has been passed challenges and would meet future ones. these values much of the life of the united kingdom also. together with our alliance they
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continue to guide our actions as we confront challenges of a changing world. history links monarchs and parliaments, a connecting thread from one to the next. so, in an era when the regular were the rhythm of life is less eye-catching than doing something extraordinary, i am reassured that i am merely the second sovereign to celebrate as today it was my privilege to address you during my silver and gold and jubilees, many of you were present in years ago and some of you will recall the occasion in 1977. since my excess and i have been a regular visitor to the palace. at the last count i had the
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pleasure boat duty of treating 12 prime ministers. [applause] [laughter] [applause] over such a time one can observe the experience of venerable old age can be my guide but not a prerequisite for success in public office and therefore very pleased cedras several parliamentarians and also those bringing such a wide range of background and experience to your vital national work. during these years the support of my family has come across the generations, been beyond measure .
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prince philip is, i believe, well-known for declining compliments of any kind. [applause] [laughter] but he has been a constant strain and guide. >> and we are back live at the national book festival on the mall in washington, d.c. our last call-in guest of the weekend. we want to reintroduce you to sally bedell smith his most recent book is "elizabeth the queen: the life of a mordern monarch". the numbers are on the screen. this is your chance to talk with ms. smith about her book. audience members, as well, lineup and have a question for sally bedell smith. we will get to those as well. very quickly, sally bedell smith is queen elizabeth the second republican or democrat? >> guest: we will never know. she is scrupulous about asserting her neutrality or maintaining her natality. it is a great guessing game.
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the more apt question would be whether she is, you know, a labor oratory, but see has made it her business in the course of for 60 year reign to get along with every single one of her 12 prime ministers. it is an amazing span from winston churchill who actually was born in the 19th century and served in her great, great grandmother, queen victoria, army. david cameron born 30 years after the birth of for your august child, prince edward. she has opinions which she presses and private, but she is extremely careful about not making political statements in public. i did catcher -- i was told about one that was actually quite amusing which was, robert
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tuttle was one of the american ambassador's to britain during george w. bush came for his presentation of his credentials, and at that moment there was a big furor was something called the congestion tax which was of very -- it was a political hot potato and it was being imposed on people to prevent them from driving into london too much. american embassy maintained that they were not liable to pay it because they called it the congested charge. they said was a tax and americans were not supposed to pay it. so robert tuttle arrived for his presentation of his credentials and went through all the formalities and had of little informal discussion. she said to him, i understand, you think the congesting charges attacks. he said yes, ma'am, it is a tax and she said, of course it is a tax. of course, the head of protocol for the diplomatic corps was
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turning, you know, white at the prospect that she would say something. those kind of slips are very unusual. as far as our relationship with american presidents, she has bonded with them on a personal basis, but not so much -- it does not have anything to do with politics, republican or democrat. >> host: in several instances in your book you indicate that she has a pretty wicked sense of humor. >> guest: she does. she spends a lot of time in scotland to, and she is a great mimic. it was said that she did a pretty wicked gordon brown. her sense of humor is subtle and trying. one of my favorite examples of it occurred about -- back in 2003, an american
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lady-in-waitings and was celebrating her 70th birthday being held at the famous nightclub on barnes' square called annabel's. the queen was very excited to get to this because she has that been done that club says the late 1940's right after she got married to prince philip. she had a wonderful time that night and was seated next board salisbury who is one of the most illustrious british aristocrat, former head of the house of lords. the next day she went on an engagement to st. albans at the north of london. she was being introduced to a line of dignitaries by the dean of the abbey who spotted robert salisbury, barred cells vary. he said to the queen, you know, large cells perry. she said, oh, yes. robert and i were out in a nightclub last night. half past one. so that is the sort of tenor of her dry humor.
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>> host: sally bedell smith is the guest of queen elizabeth the second is the topic and we will begin with a call from mike in syracuse, new york. your honor book tv on c-span. >> thank you. my question is basically this. given that span of queen elizabeth's reign, being one of the longest rains in england or the u.k. history, given all the prime minister's she has worked with all of the historical events she has seen in her lifetime, has that impact her as a queen from your knowledge? >> well, i think she has a -- she has a vast store of information, obviously. one of the fascinating things about the queen is, she does not have an ideological filter. she takes things then. that is one reason why she is so
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valuable to the people who come to earth for confidential audiences. obviously the prime minister's to meet with hurt most weeks for an hour at buckingham palace to but many other people. and she has a wisdom as well as a body of knowledge that she has and she has an extraordinary memory for things. and, you know, when public officials come to her with questions or asking for guidance they always remark, even if they are skeptical going in to their first encounters with her in those private audiences, and by the way, no one else in the room to record anything of what anybody says which gives them a great deal of freedom to set was on their minds. so harold wilson who was a labor
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prime minister in the 1970's and was -- you know, it's hard to say, but she had a very affectionate relationship with him. her private secretary, his private secretary said to me that he considered her to be a very astute raconteur of the political scene. she is very good at sizing people up and understanding the nuances of political situations. so all these things have given her a very valuable role. she is not a figurehead. she has a range of duties that people don't fully appreciate which i tried to explain in the book. >> host: a question from right here in the audience. yes, ma'am. >> i wanted to know if you think that the queen messes the fact that she cannot go out, even in london?
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i read in your book that she bite out with her sister at the end of world war ii. that seems like one of the only times in her life she was ever totally free to explore. >> guest: i think that is true. it was something that was imposed upon her for an early age when she was a young girl. her governments to take her out. she went underground. she rode on buses and went to museums. at that point she obviously was not clean, so she had a little more freedom to do those as things. it is just something that is part of the structure for life. she has a certain measure of freedom which is on her private estate, particularly up in scotland which is tens of thousand acres. it is probably where she is happiest because she can go out up into the hills, she can ride her horses which, by the way, at
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age 86 she still does. she rides her ponies on the hills. so she does have that opportunity have a sense of freedom on around property. prince philip has always had a lot more latitude in terms of getting out and about for many years. he used to drive around london in his own london taxicab. he would wear a little chauffeur's cap when he sat at the wheel. as protection officer would sit in the back seats. and, you know, he would love driving around london and being undetected. the clean gets out, probably more than you would imagine to have dinner at your friend's home. she will go and have dinner in somebody's kitchen.
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she goes -- sometimes they have very modest, some of the older ones, you know, don't have as much money as they used to it. very modest apartments. she goes there and does it with just one protection officer. that probably gives her some measure of feeling free as well. >> host: christine in lawrence, kan., you are on with sally bedell smith on book tv. >> caller: yes. i enjoyed reading your book on princess diana which you wrote shortly after she passed away. i was wondering, in your research on your new book on the queen if you discovered anything more about her relationship with diana and how you would describe the queen's relationship with princess diana? thank you. >> guest: yes, i did discover quite a bit more about it. when i wrote the book about diana back in 1997 and 1998 shortly after her death it was more from the perspective of
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diana. and, as you might remember, diana was very young and very immature when she became the princess of wales. although the queen made a point of telling her that she had an open door and was free to come and talk to her when she wanted to, the queen is a very busy. i think they ana was intimidated by her. so she did not avail herself of that to the extent that she might have. and they had a good relationship , and it really only fell apart when the andrew morton book came out in 1992 filled with some pretty damaging information about prince charles and also when it was discovered that she had, in fact, cooperated with it. at that point the queen relationship with her was not all that could.
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i guess what i discovered more in this book was from the queen's pointed you, you know, what in fact, she had been welcoming. had not been as aware of that the first time around when i was looking at it more through the prism of diana's experience. >> next question from this seven right here. >> what role does cirque anglican faith have in her role -- life both on a public and personal level? >> it has a very profound role. her face is extremely important terror, both in her daily life, sort of woven into retail live. the of -- the 103rd archbishop of canterbury told me that as a consequence he can take almost anything the royal throws other. she has a sort of appreciation
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of what can and cannot be accomplished that is partly a result of her faith and a result of life experience. as, you know, the head of the church of england is obviously a vital part of her role as queen. and it was also said that see used their role, a kind of glad service. and, of course, the most profound part of her fate was shown in the coronation. one thing that i discovered in researching the coronation than i had not fully appreciated before is that the central element of that was not win the crown was put on her head but when she was anointed with the holy oil and when she made the solemn vow to, as, you know, the
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representative of her people that she was server people until death, and that is why the whole notion of abdication is something that would not ever occur terror. she has made this sacred vow, and she has -- you know, there are a lot of aspects of for yearly calendar that have religious elements, the service of remembrance is held every year to commemorate the war dead. if she observes, you know, to commemorate the washing of the feet by the disciples which is now done through handing out money to pensioners to recognize their service. it is really wound into her that i had not fully appreciated. a great source of strength for her and evidence of her commitment to our role.
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>> the next question comes from al the end simple texas. hello. >> caller: hello. thanks for c-span first of all. what do you see the future of the monarchy after elisabeth. second question, speculation, is there any chance that charles might be bypassed after elizabeth and then go straight to william? thank-you speech to the first part is that for a lot of reasons including the enormous affection for the queen and love that has been expressed in the diamond jubilee year preceded by the wedding of william and kate last year. the british monarchy is probably more -- the public opinion polls show that it is more popular today than ever. the british -- i mean, american presidents would kill for the
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approval rating that she has had pretty consistently for decades, which is about 80%. there is a sort of hard-core 20 percent of the population that would prefer to see the marquee and and to have it replaced with a republic. it is very strong now. she has quite sensibly modernize the marquee and incremental waste and kept pace with modern times. people recognize that. and she also is very aware of the need to appeal to younger people and in the way her jubilee was celebrated this year and in other things that she has done, she is trying to appeal more and more to younger people. it was significant that on the last day of the jubilee celebration that the -- that the court royal family was on the balcony in buckingham palace.
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the queen, would have been the duke of edinburgh had he not been in the hospital. william and kate and obviously prince charles and camilla and harry. and those that she was setting up as the succession is secure and the succession will, in fact, the prince charles. he is the longest -- he is the longest waiting prince of wales. she has made very clear that he is next in line. now, it could be that she will continue to reign for another ten or 15 years. she is 86 years old. she is very robust. but skipping in generation and choosing somebody to be the next monarch, something that would never occur to her. >> host: we have a young questioner right here. hello, in late. [inaudible question]
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>> host: what is your favorite book ever written and white to be to my favorite book. oh, my goodness. one of the books i have written or my book? i have three children. if someone as the who my favorite child was i would not know what to say. but i guess the one that i am working on now is kind of mike, you know, elisabeths book is my favorite, but i like writing all of them. they have all been infinitely intriguing subjects, really fun to find out how each of them takes. all been quite different. >> host: elizabeth -- "elizabeth the queen" is the name of the book. sally bedell smith is the author. reread the national book festival in washington d.c. jeff in sydney, mantegna, you are on the air. >> caller: >> i just wondered if the queen acknowledges that the base of her bloodline is anglo-saxon, basically german?
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>> guest: well, definitely -- she has a lot of german heritage no doubt about that. her family began with george the first who was descended from sophie of hanover and came over in the 18th-century. it was continued, queen victoria married prince albert from germany. but obviously there is an english strain that coaster it as well. her mother, queen elizabeth, the queen mother, from the staff or family. english scottish family. so it is a mix, but you're right. there is a significant german meat -- lineage. it was a problem, actually,
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right around the time -- right before world war one when the family name was very germanic. it was bad and burke commander grandfather, king george the fifth tasted, change the names of all the people so that all of the members of the royal family said that they were less dramatic. bentsen byrd became batman. other names were replaced with german counterparts. >> the next question. >> i would like to ask something related to you during your research for biographies. when you do the research how important is it for utah the vulture questions the personal interview before and so that they can prepare their answers as opposed to asking questions that they don't know about and get what some would say is a more natural response. >> guest: i always do the latter. i prepare a great deal for my
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interviews and have long lists of questions. i think it is more valuable to have that kind of spontaneous exchange. in some instances i will, if people feel they can speak more freely i will give them the a opportunity to speak on background with a provision that later on i can ask them if certain questions or answers can go on the record, which is fairly routine. but i think it just makes for better give-and-take if you have questions that the people respond to in the moment. >> host: sally bedell smith, and really your book, maybe i'm reading too much into this, but did you talk with the queen in crafting your book?
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>> guest: the queen as a policy that is probably sensible from our standpoint which is that in her entire 60 year reign she has never given an interview , and that has helped probably to preserve her mystique. it has shelter from having to pick and choose who she might give interviews to. i was lucky to meet her in private social settings. i describe the three times in the book. and each of them was brief but revelatory, and in each case it gave me that of glen since -- glimpses of her private side, that gave the of spirits, the flash of white and it so they were very valuable to me. i also watch for a lot in different settings. i traveled with her around.
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i kid see how she interacted. there are many ways i developed my sense of who she is and how she goes about her job and house seat -- >> host: was she aware you're writing this book? >> guest: she was. i initially approached the palace when i got the assignment . and i wrote a very polite letter and got a very polite letter back saying, we appreciate your interest, but lots of people are interested in writing about the queen. we have hard time choosing somebody. fortunately i had a group of people who had helped me enormously with the diana book, some of whom had worked for her, some of whom were her relatives. they became my advocates and went to her senior officials at buckingham palace and said, she is an american, but she has a
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body of work that shows that she writes fair and balanced books and it would be a serious book and a thorough book. in so after about six months they briefed her, her press people briefed her and she gave them permission to give me their cooperation which was very helpful. >> host: pamela, orange, california, good afternoon. >> caller: good afternoon. a pleasure to be able to see and hear. i have enjoyed your entire body of work. especially this seminal research that she has done on this fabulous figure in our lives. and that thing she has pretty much answered my question which was going to be, how did she -- was she able to interview and get access to the people surrounding the queen and get all of the questions answered? just wanted thank you so much for filling in the background on
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this wonderful figure in our lifetime, ms. smith. >> guest: thank-you. what was most fun was the range of people that i was able to talk to. again, the help of buckingham palace was very valuable because i would kick in touch with some of her close friends who were naturally a little nervous about possibly speaking. they would call the palace, and the palace would say, we are helping her. you know, use your own judgment, the sudden you're comfortable with. i get in touch with people who really knew her well to my relatives to my dog trainers, people renter states. the manager of first of farm, restrainers. it was a portrait painters crown jeweler this. of these politicians in newark,
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members of the clergy. so i love getting many angles of vision, some quite intimate, some have very focused intense, like the portrait artist who spends very informal time with there, a whole different view of heard that other people. >> host: finally, sally bedell smith, why do we care? >> guest: well, they are an extraordinary institution that binds britain together through their continuity, connection to british history and today really they played -- there is a term which is not terribly good, but they call it the welfare markey. the queen and all the members of families spend so much time supporting charities, contributing their name and
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their efforts. they, you know, their reward people for good works and set an example of service. the queen, of course, has the extraordinary advisory capacity. you know, she has led an exemplary life. she is the light above politics, one of the most highly respected leaders in the world. she has done all kinds of things behind the scenes to preserve, for example, the commonwealth which is a former british empire that could have easily fall apart over issues like apartheid. she cares very much about the environment, about the small nations and the commonwealth that face particular challenges like the irelands nation's. so many things that she has contributed to that the british people feel indebted to her for
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having done. and as i have been going around the country talking to groups i detected a kind of list fullness almost on the part of people. why don't we have somebody like this can unify the country, to the light above politics. she performs a very valuable service. >> host: "elizabeth the queen" is the name of the book. sally bedell smith is the author. thank you for joining us on book tv today. thank you all for being here, and that is going to close out our coverage of the 2012 national book festival. thanks for being with us. this will all read-share overnight on book tv on c-span2. now, more book tv continues. ..
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>> there's a new exhibit at the library of congress and it's called books that saved america. book tv is taking a tour of that exhibit, and joining us is
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roberta schaffer, who is the associate librarian for the library of congress. why do you call it books that shaped america? >> we call it that as opposed to other words we considered like, changed america. we think that books slowly have an impact on american society, and shaped seems to be a better word to imply that connotation. >> when you think of the word shaped and what you said, which book comes to mind? >> that's the fabulous port of this exhibit. no one book is shaping america. so many books have had such a profound influence on american culture, and society, and indeed the very essence of what america it. it would be impossible and really would we improper to pick one book from the 88 that are here. >> there's 88 books. the exhibit starts out with common sense. >> yes. although the earliest book is
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actually ben franklin's book on electricity. that's from 1751. we had two books about common sense, one is dr. spock's book on raising your child in a common-sense way, and thomas paine's book that parks what is the american revolution. >> are these books all fir editions, very rare? >> they're not all first degrees very rare. we have very many books in our collection that would be first editions and very rare, if not one of a kind. but we selected books for a variety of reasons. some of them have inscriptions by other famous people or by the authors themselves. two books in this collection, that i just adore, are books part of the armed service book outreach to people who were serving in the military. so we have two examples of books that soldiers are sent -- or were sent.
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i believe they're now sent books to read at the war front on ipods and other things. >> what two books do you have? >> i believe one of them is tarzan, and i'm trying to think about the other one is. my goodness. >> while you think of that. in this exhibit, a lot of novels. >> yes. and novels are a critical part of american culture. not only dime novels that people read, the common people read, but some very highbrow and very concept novels. some novels that appeal to people of all ages. some children's books that appeal to people of all ages. the wizard of0s. charlotte's web. >> gob with the wind is here as well. how did those books shape america? >> well, many of them identified who we were becoming or the as separations we had as a nation.
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others told about experiences that we had uniquely as americans, like the diaries of lewis and clark. and many others defined our dialect. huckleberry finn, or nora nelson's book. talk in dialect, and so they shaped not only ideas but how we speak today. >> you also have some social cultural books, and i want to ask you about those. such as you mentioned dr. spock. there's a couple of cookbooks in the collection, and book called "the big book." alcoholics anonymous. >> guest: we also thought it was personality to look at nonfiction and books that either were self-help or kind of broke barriers of certain kinds. so we looked across the broad spectrum of books that changed america. we did not want to limit ourselves to a particular genre or a particular kind of book or
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author or writing style. we looked for books that were innovative that showed americas a an innovative country, a country that looks for practical solutions, that shared her experiences broadly. that used books and stories to inspire going to the new frontier that could be literally or intellectually. >> here at the library of congress, are you in charge of the winnows process? >> that's an interesting question. definitely a very large committee, with no chair person, which is interesting. we had a number of discussions as people brought forthtitles, and believe it or not it was not all that difficult to select these these books. this is not a definitive list. there is no article "the book" that shaped america in the title of this exhibition so we decided
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what we wanted to do is choose books that would get america talking about books. and that was not as difficult to find consensus on, as maybe choosing the 50 books or the 100 books. and so we didn't need a chair person. >> some of the books have created social movements. i'm thinking ida carbell, up ton sinclair, racial carson? >> yes. one of thing interesting things they not only created social movements but some even led to legislation. so, we see that the jungle in here, and we know that it really created the forerunner legislation to the food and drug administration being created. so not only social movements but actually legislation, actual social change. >> why 88? >> 88 is really just -- decided to stop. we were worried about using a number that is commonly associated with a definitive
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list so we avoided 10, 25, and 100. beyond that it was up for grabs, and when we got to 88, we said, we think that's a good number. i won't give anybody the impression we mean this is the 88. >> poetry, religious books, are they in here? >> we have quite a few exemplars of poetry running the span of at least two centuries. so we have walt whitman, allen beginsburg, and -- ginsburg, and we have to be clear that poetry is an important part of american history and americans have been committed to both writing and reading poetry, and i think that continues today. >> what about religious books. >> we do have a holographics bible. so books have a moralistic or
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do-good tone, and we felt that is more representative of america than -- and our values then would be a particular religious book. so, we tried to look at the values of america, her spiritual sort of persona, rather than looking at particular religious books. >> how didout start here at the library of congress? i started here over 30 years ago as the first special assist stab to the law librarian fairly fresh out of law school. i absolutely fell in love with the library of congress, and 30-plus years ago, as today, you cannot keep me away. i run to work every morning, and i think that working here and being here surrounded by books, manuscripts, musical scores, movies, the whole gamut of what really is knowledge in america,
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is such a thrill and such a privilege, that you really -- i'm going to -- you're going toe trouble getting me to retire. >> is the exhibit open the public? >> entirely open to the public throug the end of septe. let's say you can't come to washington. we have a virtual version of our exhibit on our web site, and part of this exhibit, part of this conversation, is an open web site where we're asking people from all over the world to comment on the books we have selected, but also to tell us why you think something we selected shouldn't be on our list, and even more important, why something you think should be on the list, should be added to the list, and we want to hear from you. so far we've heard from over 5,000 people. and we encourage everybody to go to our web site, www.log,.gov,
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and you can find the list of the books and fine the opportunity to complete a very, very brief form, telling us what you think of the books and what should be on the list. >> the last book was published in 2002. >> we kind of decided to put a cutoff on it. we thought if we're going to be looking at books that shaped america, we have to give them an opportunity, give books an opportunity to prove their worth in changing america. so this is an organic endeavour by the library of congress. we intend to keep looking at books that keep shaping america. we thought about a decade, that's a good place to stop. so since we're in 2012, let's stop in tout 2002 and we'll revisit it. >> other books, the band played on, and cesar chavez. of course that book had a huge influence on age research
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and raising our consciousness, and cesar chavez, a leading voice of america. >> these books in the exhibit, were they best sellers in their times? >> many of them were best sellers, and actually many of them continue to be and have not gone out of print. so even though that wasn't a spike cite tieran, so many have been translated and carried american ideals across the world. >> i want to ask you about emily dickenson, book of poetry. >> of course, emily dickenson is a must-have american poet. but the particular book that we have here in the show is an art book. it's done by a cooperative in cuba, and they have reproduced the book of poetry, and they have also made a facsimile of her house in amherst, and a little tree, and it's made out of recycled material.
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and emily dickenson is a phenomenal poet but we didn't know about her or discover her until the mid-1950s when we finally were able to see her poems or read her poems and love her poems, unked ited. >> who was doing the editing. >> there's professional editors. they like to take their pen and make you cop form. so for emily of all people that was an awful constriction. >> roberta shafer, associate librarian of the library of congress. books that shaped america is the exhibit. the library of congress is at first and independence of gnaw no washington, dc, right across from the nation's capitol. >> i think there are a lot of antiobama books out there a lot of books defending the president. i didn't want to be either book. i wanted to write a book to describe and answer what i thought was the most important question, the most interesting question, anyway. the barack obama as a character.
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a complete fish out of water in a way, right? he's a guy who has very little executive experience. his entire life is at the law professor's lectern, at the committee table in an illinois state house or u.s. senate, or in various meetings, but he's never the guy in the front of the room deciding the hard cals. very little, if any, management experience, and then suddenly he is in the most important job in the world, president of the united states, leader of the free world. so my question was how does he do it? how does he decide? how does he make decisions? how does he ghorch. >> in leading from behind. the author credits obama's behind the scenes adviser for policy decisions.
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>> host: our coxs here with professors at columbia university continue on book tv on c-span2 and now we're joined by hem helen benedict, the author of "the lone low soldier." you start your book out with a quote, war happens to people one by one. what does that mean? >> guest: i was struck by the quote because i was following the war home to the heart of every individual fighter, which is the phrase i'm quoting from dh lawrence, and war went to individual involvement, where they be soldierses or civilians. it's a monster. that reaches deep inside every single person and turns every life upside-down and i thought it was an apt quote. >> host: how many women served in the iraq war. >> guest: over 200,000 have
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served in iraq and afghanistan. >> host: americans. >> guest: yes, americans. >> host: is that unusual? >> guest: ey, the iraq war in particular set a precedent historically, more women served and have been wounded and killed in the iraq war by iran's 2005 into the war already, than all the american wars put together since world war ii, including afghanistan. so, it was a huge difference. one in every ten troops in iraq was a woman. >> host: did they serve in different capacities than hey served in the past? >> guest: yes, bought because of the nature of the war is a guerrilla war, there isn't any front line. having an area where soldiers from the enemy side will meet up and fight. that doesn't happen anymore. battles take place in hospitals,
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even if you're driving a truck full of toilet paper, you can be attacked. so, because of no frontline, even if you're combat support or an engineer or a cook, you can get drawn into battle, and many, many women also were being used as gunners and working alongside with the infantry, doing exactly the same job as the infantry because of the shortage of troops. >> host: but women aren't supposed to serve in combat. >> guest: right, which is the great irony. from the pentagon's point of view, banned from ground combat, not air combat. on the ground in reality, women have been fighting in combat in iraq and afghanistan for ten years. >> host: was there a typical experience for women in iraq and afghanistan for american soldiers? >> guest: it's hard to say typical because it really did vary, depending on the year they were serving, where they were serving, and who they were
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serving with. but the stories i did hear were the most common -- the most common story i heard was isolation, because one in ten troops are women but they don't necessarily get deployed together. so many women served with a small number of other women, vastly outnumbered by men, sometimes even alone. i talked to women who are the only ones serving with 60 men. the isolation of serving like that can lead to a lot of problems. from constant harassment and loneliness to sexual assault and rape. and i did hear a great deal -- more of those stories than i expected when i started my research. >> host: that seems to be a common theme in "the lonely soldier." harassment and sexual assault. who is eli painted crow on the cover? >> guest: a career sergeant. had been in the military 22 years by the time she was
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deployed to iraq, and she was a sergeant first class and had been a drill sergeant as well. so she had always served at honduras and at home and had a long career behind her and was very enthusiastic about the army, until she got sent to iraq. iraq was a whole different experience for her. partly because of the race simple she experienced and partly because of her -- the, i would say, discrimination, both racially and sexually, that she experienced. also because of the nature of the war itself, which she ended up turning against. now, i'm not saying this is typical of every soldier but that's another thing i heard from more soldiers than i expected, was a great deal of criticism about the war, based own what they were seeing on the ground, not what we hear about in our armchairs at home. >> host: professor benedict, how did you find the five women that
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you focus on in the book. >> guest: i interviewed der 40 women who center field iraq over three years. i found veterans groups and one would lead to another, and another, and would lead to others and partly it was a network, networking process, partly it was people hearing that there was somebody out there writing about women in the military, and they wanted to be included, so a lot of the women came to me. they felt invisible. they were risking their lives limbs like men but weren't being recognized as real soldiers and taken seriously. so they wanted their service to be recognized. others wanted to whistle blow about the kinds of degradation they experienced so some came to me and some i found, so out of those 40 i picked five in the hopes of finding a representation of socioeconomic
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range and also socioeconomic range, geographical range, age, experience, attitudes, tried to get a range so it was a fair book. >> host: so, the outliars in your research would be those who continue to support the war and were not harassed? >> guest: well, -- the survey shows from 1999, more women or harassed while serving so the outliers were not harassed. between rape, it's between one in seven. and from surveys by the v.a. and the military itself, by the way. so, they are still fewer than the ones that are not raped, and i did the statistics in the book, but the numbers are so horrific of epidemic proportions that i felt it was really important to focus on this,
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because other books weren't and hadn't. people were not aware of the degree to which we are prosecuting our own soldiers. >> host: you're a professor of journalism, is this a typical book for a journalism professor to write? >> guest: in our school we do investigative reporting and also have the academics among us, but we are working journalists who teach. that's always been the profile of the school ever since joseph pulitzer founded it. >> host: have policies changed because of the experience of women in iraq and afghanistan? >> guest: yes, there have. there have been many congressional hearings about the issues of harassment, and i testified twice to congress myself. they have changed some rules and policies and approaches. they had more prevention
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training, sexual assault counselors have been made available who are women and men, because sexual assault is a huge problem for men as well in the military. and there has been reforms but we still have a long way to go. the rape to sex assault rate does not seem to be dropping. the prosecution rates in the military justice system or scandalously low, and there's a long way to good congress has been pressing the military to do something about this for many years now, and he military has been extremely slow to respond in a really productive way. there's a lot of denial going on. >> host: should will be allowed to serve in combat? >> guest: yes. we are human beings. we have a right to have whatever jobs we want. not all of us will choose that job. not all of us would want to be in combat, but not all men want to be in combat, either. it's so paternalistic to deny women a chance at a job just
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because of their gender, and they're a suit going on right now, that "the new york times" wrote about, on behalf of two women, officers, who were suing and claiming it is unconstitutional to bar women from combat because it denies them equal protection under the law. >> host: now, you also wrote a novel called sand queens. >> guest: it comes from the same research. i'm really writing a cycle of books about the iraq war, nonfiction and fiction combined. it is the story of a woman soldier in iraq, at the very beginning of the war, she is guarding the first and biggest prisoner of war camp we set up over there,, and it goes back and forth between her story, her experiences as a woman soldier, and the story of an iraqi civilian woman. they meet at a checkpoint and they begin to enter act.
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this is based on things that my soldiers have experienced. and you get to see the war from both the iraqi and american point of view, but told through the eyes of women, which is a rare way to tell stories of war. >> host: when you look back at the media coverage the iraq war and currently the afghanistan war, do you feel it's been fair or comprehensive. >> guest: depends which nation's media you're asking about. >> host: u.s. >> guest: i think we did a very bad job at the beginning of the war, at the university of knowledge. we were too blind by our reactions to 9/11, and we did not face -- we did not question the reason for going into iraq enough. we accepted at face value the things we were told. we did not dig deep enough, and we have persisted in knowing the
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iraqi side to a quite shocking degree. in fact to find out what was really going on in iraq during the war, had to turn to british and french journalists, people who had been covering iraq since then 1970s, spoke arabic, knew the area. we have a dearth of people like that -- have a few but not enough. and then of course we also had a certain amount of censorship, not being allowed to show the body of soldiers coming home or the coffins, rather. not getting true numbers of the dead on either side. not getting a good enough idea of the chaos that was going on, and so i would have -- generalizing and individual reporters who have done an incredible job of covering that war, and other problems in the middle east, and i would like to pay tribute to shabe who was a
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splendid reporter. >> host: have you written about war previously or just this war that grabbed you. >> guest: i wrote a little bit about world war ii, also in novels. but never written about combat and actual war on the ground, the way i have here. so this is a unique subject for me, which is why it took me a few years to do a lot of research and many, many interviews to really absorb what it's like. i wanted to know, what is it like to be a woman soldier in combat and why do you do it? that was my original question. and then i found out a whole lot more. >> host: helen benedict is the author of this book, the lonely soldier, the private war of women serving in iraq. she is also the author of this novel, sand queen, based on the same research, a novel.
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helen benedict has joined us here at columbia university. >> if you were trying to write a story about a couple, about their intimate lives and what happened during and after their relationship, the lincolns offer us just limitless possibilities, and i used to think that it was so unique because working on abraham lincoln, one gets into the mesmerize editor his goodwin staring at the picture, looking at her beautiful work, and you get mesmerized by this thing about lincoln, and you start wondering about, why did mary do this for lincoln? but then i'm able to see in the world around me that there have been other presidential wives, other women of privilege, who have been accused of illnesses. i mean, i used